On this day in 2011, the firm was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, the country’s only known government-sponsored hall of fame that celebrates contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The firm was honored as a “Friend of the Community.” The GLHF was established in 1991 with the support of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and then-Mayor Richard M. Daley. Its purpose is to recognize achievements of LGBT Chicagoans and the help they have received from others. In recognizing the firm, the GLHF noted that Jenner & Block “often has represented individuals and organizations in successful precedent-setting cases, besides providing pro bono legal assistance…and financially sponsoring LGBT charities and community organization events. Jenner & Block…has long been a leader in advocating for LGBT communities…in the courtroom and in society. Its work makes the quality of life appreciably better for LGBT individuals in Chicago and the nation.” The induction ceremony took place at the Chicago History Museum and featured remarks by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
On this day in 2001 – in time for “LGBT History Month” – the first Equal Time-LGBT Community Service newsletter was published. It was the first diversity newsletter the firm produced and is thought to have been the first of its kind anywhere in the legal community. The first issue noted the firm’s involvement in championing LGBT issues, including, among them, filing amicus briefs on behalf of an openly gay Scoutmaster who was expelled from the organization and the effort to topple state-based anti-sodomy laws throughout the nation. Importantly, the newsletter also listed out attorneys and their client work, a practice that continues with today’s publication. To see past editions of Equal Time, click here.