Michael Kavey is an Affiliated Attorney at Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender (LGBT) people and people with HIV. He joined the organization in September 2007 as the Arthur Liman Public Interest Law Fellow, a position he held for two years before becoming an Affiliated Attorney.
During his nearly three years at Lambda Legal, Kavey has advocated extensively on behalf of LGBT youth and their allies who face discrimination, harassment and censorship at school. He has served as lead counsel for Lambda Legal in both federal and state litigation involving students' rights, and has worked on matters throughout the country, including in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Texas and California. In addition to litigation, Kavey's work at Lambda Legal includes legislative advocacy and public presentations to diverse audiences and in the media. He has also written numerous educational materials for Lambda Legal regarding the rights of LGBT youth and their allies in schools.
Articles by Kavey dealing with LGBT civil rights have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, the Advocate and the University of Chicago's The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. An essay on lesbian, gay and bisexual rights in comparative perspective, co-authored by Kavey and Professor Kenji Yoshino of NYU School of Law, will appear in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law.
Before joining Lambda Legal, Kavey served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor (currently sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court), during her tenure on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for the Honorable Gerard E. Lynch (currently sitting on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), during Judge Lynch's tenure on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Kavey received his B.A. in Political Science, cum laude and with Distinction in the Major, from Yale College, and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He is fluent in Spanish, and earned an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College.
Kavey's advocacy for LGBT students extends back to his own work as a youth activist. As co-president of a student gay-straight alliance during his sophomore year in high school, Kavey helped lead a successful student effort to persuade the local school board to include sexual orientation in a non-discrimination policy for students. Approved in 1994, the provision was, at that time, one of few school policies in the nation to include sexual orientation—and the first of its kind in New York State outside of New York City.
Kavey is admitted to practice law in New York State.