Saul Ewing Attorney Rep. Brian K. Sims Selected to Receive 2015 Stonewall Award
Saul Ewing LLP, a full service law firm with more than 260 lawyers in 11 East Coast offices, announced today that Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian K. Sims, special counsel in the firm’s Real Estate Practice, has been selected to receive the 2015 Stonewall Award.
This national honor from the American Bar Association’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity recognizes lawyers for removing barriers based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and promoting diversity within the legal profession and the greater society.
Sims is a model for seeking – and gaining – acceptance for the LGBT community. In 2012, he became the first openly LGBT person ever elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. But even before that, he built a legal career on advocating for equality, including reshaping Equality Pennsylvania, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and GALLOP, an association for gay and lesbian lawyers in Philadelphia. He is also a leading advocate in the push in Pennsylvania for the statehouse to add sexual orientation and gender identity to non-discrimination laws.
“I am deeply honored that the American Bar Association is recognizing me for my work as an attorney,” Sims said. “One of my missions is to ensure everyone enjoys the same civil rights. A career in law has allowed me to keep this goal at the forefront of my life.”
Sims joined Saul Ewing in May 2013, and works out of the firm’s Philadelphia office. In addition to his work in the Real Estate Practice, he also provides the firm’s Higher Education Practice with his perspective from his frequent interactions on college and university campuses as a highly-sought speaker on LGBT and other advocacy issues.
“No one in recent memory has done more than Brian to change the face of LGBT advocacy in Pennsylvania,” said Michelle N. Lipkowitz, a partner at Saul Ewing and chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “Brian has a deep understanding of how effective advocacy works and an innate know-how for implementing change.”
The Stonewall Award is named after the 1969 riots at the Greenwich Village Stonewall Inn, where gays and lesbians stood up for three nights against the beating and mistreatment of transgender individuals in a raid of the bar by New York City police officers. The riots were a turning point in the struggle for LGBT civil rights.
Brian and two other honorees will receive the Stonewall Award on February 7, 2015 at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Houston, Texas.