Career Spotlight: Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director, Lambda Legal in New York

Published: September 11th, 2006

Category: Students

Where we work and what we do for a living is an expression of who we are, says Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, the largest and oldest national legal organization committed toHayley Gorenberg achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV.

“How early on in our lives were we asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” Gorenberg asked an audience at the Levin College of Law, Friday, Sept. 1, in a program co-sponsored by Career Services and OUTLAW. “Everybody wants their dream job and nobody wants it taken away from them based on discrimination, barriers to access, and a lack of fairness in the workplace. And that’s the reason that at Lambda Legal we have made this a core mission priority area.”

A native of Gainesville, Gorenberg served as lead counsel in Lambda Legal’s high-impact legal action against Cirque du Soleil on behalf of performer Matthew Cusick, who was fired because he has HIV. The case resulted in the largest award ever for an HIV-discrimination complaint settled with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In addition to workplace issues, Lambda Legal also focuses its efforts on relationship recognition, parenting rights, transgender rights, foster care, youth and schools, and HIV-related civil rights cases, Gorenberg said.

“I am convinced in doing this work, and I have devoted my career to it, that the issue of the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, and people with HIV is the civil rights issue of this age. I think that young people, including my seven and five-year-old , when they get older and start asking mrie of these questions, they will wonder sometime in the future what  the big deal was and why there was such a problem recognizing equal rights in this area.”