The National Family Law Advisory Council

Over the past three decades, we have partnered with talented attorneys across the nation to advance the rights and protections of LGBT parents and families. In 2003, NCLR convened a group of experienced family law and estate planning attorneys from around the country to discuss family formation and protection issues, evaluating national trends and state-by-state cases. The meeting proved to be invaluable to both NCLR and the private practitioners involved in addressing the ever-evolving legal challenges LGBT families face. The group has continued to grow and meet annually, and in 2006, was formally formed as NCLR’s National Family Law Advisory Council.

The Council consists of 44 family law attorneys from more than 15 states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., Washington state, and Wisconsin.

San Francisco attorney Deborah Wald is the founding Chair. Learn more about Wald and her work at

Members are:

  • Lauren Barros , UT
  • Jane Bassett, MI
  • Suzanne Bryant, TX
  • Carol Buell, NY
  • Lee Carpenter, PA
  • Emily Doskow, CA
  • Mariette Geldenhuys, NY
  • Diane Goodman, CA
  • Laura Gray, UT
  • Kathie Gummere, AZ
  • Debra Guston, NJ
  • Janet Helson, WA
  • Joan Hollinger, CA
  • Debra Hunt, TX
  • Eva Juncker, MD & VA
  • Courtney Joslin, CA
  • Joyce Kauffman, MA
  • Deb Kinney, CA
  • Karen Langsley, TX
  • LeeAnn Massucci, OH
  • Allison Mendel, AK
  • Connie Moore, TX
  • Patricia Novotny, WA
  • Tiffany Palmer, PA
  • Lynn Perls, NM
  • Nancy Polikoff, D.C.
  • Raegen Rasnic, WA
  • Abby Rubenfeld, TN
  • Elizabeth Schwartz, FL
  • Julie Shapiro, WA
  • Susan Silber, MD
  • William Singer, NJ
  • Judith Sperling-Newton, WI
  • Lori Surmay, GA
  • Kim Surratt, NV
  • Sharon Thompson, NC
  • Judith Turkel, NY
  • Arabia Vargas, TX
  • Deborah Wald, CA
  • Tanya Washington, GA
  • Bradley Weidemann, NC
  • Richard Wilson, IL
  • Claudia Work, AZ
  • Michele Zavos, D.C. & MD