Diana Flynn

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Diana Flynn is the Litigation Director at Lambda Legal, the country’s largest and oldest legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of all lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV.

Flynn comes to Lambda Legal after lengthy service as Chief of the Appellate Section of the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.  There she led the Civil Rights Division’s litigation program in the United States Courts of Appeals and, under supervision of the Solicitor General, in the Supreme Court.  Her section also handled some of the most important constitutional cases litigated by the division in the trial courts. Under her direction, the section filed more than 2,500 briefs in federal courts, and maintained a success rate of more than 80 percent.  

Flynn personally led the legal counsel project that laid the groundwork for the Holder Justice Department’s application of sex discrimination laws to prohibit discrimination based on transgender status.  She also managed the Civil Rights Division’s efforts in connection with the Defense of Marriage Act litigation, and worked with the Office of the Solicitor General and the Civil Division on the Windsor, Proposition 8 and Obergefell cases in the Supreme Court.

Among the awards she has received are the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award; Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Legal Counsel; the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service; the DOJ Pride’s James R. Douglas Award for contributions to the work life environment of LGBT employees of the U.S. Department of Justice; and the American Bar Association’s prestigious Stonewall Award.  

Flynn chaired the Civil Rights Division’s LGBTI Working Group for several years.  She was the keynote speaker at Lavender Law’s 2012 Trans Law Institute and has been a frequent speaker or presenter at other events addressing legal protections for LGBT people.  At the request of the Obama White House, she represented the Department of Justice at a number of White House briefings, panels, and events involving the Supreme Court, civil rights law, and LGBT rights.

Flynn currently serves by appointment of the President of the ABA as a Commissioner of the organization’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

She is a graduate of the Yale Law School and a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester.