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Although the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S. is heartening for lesbians and gays, the resulting discriminatory legislative backlash against the LGBT population shows that this community continues to be marginalized and at risk. Over two hundred anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in state legislatures since January 2016. North Carolina recently passed anti-LGBT legislation that eliminated and prohibits LGBT anti-discrimination protections, and bars transgender individuals from using gender congruent public bathrooms. One result of recent and historical discrimination is LGBT individual's newfound and pre-existing fears of encountering anti-LGBT bias when seeking legal services, even as recent developments have increased their legal needs. With higher rates of poverty than the general population, low-income LGBT individuals often have limited access to justice. Traditional legal services organizations are overwhelmed, leaving law school clinics as the only realistic alternative source of legal help for the low-income LGBT community. Many generalist law school clinics provide some of the legal services needed by low-income LGBT persons. These generalist clinics, however, may not be designed to provide a safe and culturally-competent environment to that population. This Article argues that law school clinics have the obligation and opportunity to use their unique position to train LGBT culturally responsive lawyers. It concludes by proposing cultural competency actions law school clinics can pursue with the aim of becoming effective LGBT legal service providers for the benefit of their students and their LGBT clients.


USC Gould

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Review of Law and Social Justice





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