San Francisco attorney Dennis Raglin
was elected to the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the nation’s oldest and largest LGBT bar association. Mr. Raglin has been involved with BALIF for several years, and helped coordinate Sedgwick's first-time sponsorship of BALIF'S annual dinner and awards ceremony this past February - its main fundraising event and funding source for youth scholorships, attended by over 500 people.
“After being involved in various organizations that serve the Bay Area LGBT legal community, I knew BALIF was the right fit for me given both the people involved and the important programs the membership undertakes. Members hail from the whole spectrum of our legal community, from law students, to professors and judges, and from in-house counsel to lawyers in national firms. It is an incredibly talented and diverse group of people, committed to making the entire Bay Area legal community stronger through diversity. It is because of the hard work of so many before me in BALIF's 30 years that it has become the largest such organization, and that the Bay Area legal community is as diverse as it is. I am both humbled and honored to be a part of this venerable organization, and I look forward to getting right to work with my fellow board members to do even more."
In addition to his practice, which focuses primarily on complex litigation, in the areas of product liability, drug and medical device and environmental toxic tort, Mr. Raglin is also a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the Defense Research Institute (DRI), and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is also a pro bono counsel in the SF Bar's Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) and a panel atorney for the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.
BALIF was originally founded to encourage LGBT legal professionals to apply to become judges. Today, BALIF’s mission has expanded. The group takes action on questions of law and justice that affect the LGBT community; strengthens professional and social ties among LGBT members of the legal profession; builds coalitions with other legal organizations to combat all forms of discrimination; promotes the appointment of LGBT attorneys to the judiciary, public agencies and commissions in the Bay Area; funds scholarships for LGBT laws students and fellowships for public interest lawyers working on LGBT issues, and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information of concern to members of the LGBT legal community. BALIF also submits amicus briefs in cases affecting the LGBT community, sponsors resolutions to the Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations, provides LGBT-focused continuing legal education opportunities and endorses candidates for judicial offices and legal elected positions. BALIF also started the organization that grew to become the now-independent AIDS Legal Referral Panel, which has provided free and low-cost legal assistance to over 50,000 people since it was founded in 1983.