Diana Flynn

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

Ms. Flynn is a long-time director of highly-regarded national litigation and legal counsel programs and has achieved great success in both the federal and non-profit sectors. An experienced lawyer and federally-qualified Senior Executive, Ms. Flynn has led the litigation efforts on cases that have helped lay the legal foundation for some of the most important principles of constitutional and civil rights law.

Ms. Flynn was appointed Litigation Director at Lambda Legal in the Spring of 2018. In that role, she directs and manages all the organization’s litigation efforts across the nation and leads the attorneys and support staff responsible for those activities. In addition to her leadership of the program, Ms. Flynn serves personally as counsel on the litigation teams of some of Lambda’s most significant cases, including the challenge to the Trump Administration’s military trans ban, and the efforts to secure fair and equal treatment for trans students in the Drew Adams case.

Prior to her arrival at Lambda in the Spring of 2018, Ms. Flynn served for many years as the Chief of the Appellate Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Under her leadership, the Section established the Division records for appellate success and productivity. She led the Section in its filing of more than 2,500 briefs, and its litigation success rate of well over eighty percent.

While at DOJ, 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.

Ms. Flynn’s successful leadership in the fields of litigation, legal counsel, and civil rights has been frequently documented and recognized. Among the many awards that she has received are the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice, the highest award given by the Department of Justice for this function; the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for exceptional work in connection with the United States’ successful effort to achieve marriage equality; the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in the Civil Rights Division; and the DOJ Pride’s James R. Douglass Award for contributions to the work-life environment of the Justice Department’s LGBTQ employees. (She is the only person in the history of the Douglass award to receive it more than once.) Finally, she has received the American Bar Association’s prestigious Stonewall Award for achievement in the advancement of LGBTQ rights.

Ms. Flynn is currently serving a second term as Commissioner of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, an appointment made by the ABA’s President.

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