Lambda Legal Attorneys Omar Gonzalez-Pagan and Richard Saenz Honored by Hispanic National Bar Association

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March 16, 2018
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Lambda Legal Attorneys Omar Gonzalez-Pagan (L) and Richard Saenz.

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) named Lambda Legal Staff Attorneys Omar Gonzalez-Pagan and Richard Saenz two recipients of the 2018 HNBA Top Lawyers Under 40 Award.

"This is a well-deserved honor for Richard and Omar who have truly distinguished themselves as outstanding legal advocates for the LGBT community. We’re thrilled that the Hispanic National Bar Association has recognized their years of hard work and dedication," said Sharon McGowan, Lambda Legal Director of Strategy. 

“Richard, who began his legal career on the front lines of Lambda Legal as a Help Desk Specialist, continues to be a fierce champion for LGBT people, especially those in poverty and in the criminal justice system. He is part of the legal team that recently won the right for a Missouri transgender incarcerated woman to receive medically necessary treatment in prison, and his commitment to communities at the margins is unwavering. 

"Working across a broad swath of issues, Omar’s work is insightful and innovative. As a member of the legal team in Obergefell v. Hodges, Omar helped secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples across the United States, and he recently has been a key member of the Lambda Legal team working in multiple appeals courts to ensure that the federal Civil Rights Act is understood to protect all workers against sexual orientation discrimination. His accomplishments are reflected in the countless hours of tireless work he has dedicated on behalf of his clients.” 

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan is a Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal. His work spans all aspects of Lambda Legal’s impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education efforts. As the health care strategist at Lambda Legal, Omar coordinates Lambda Legal’s work nationwide challenging discrimination against LGBT people and people living with HIV in the provision of health care.

Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Omar worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant Attorney General, a Special Assistant District Attorney, and an Associate General Counsel to the Massachusetts Inspector General. He has been recognized as one of 2016’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association, a Public Interest Leader by the Boston Bar Association, and with the Young Alumni Award by the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Originally from Puerto Rico, Omar is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Richard Saenz is a Staff Attorney and the Criminal Justice and Police Misconduct strategist at Lambda Legal. Prior to Lambda Legal, Richard founded the HIV/LGBT Advocacy Project at Queens Legal Services in New York City. Richard coordinates Lambda Legal’s litigation and policy work on behalf of incarcerated people and those engaged with the criminal justice system. He has also trained hundreds of advocates on providing services to marginalized communities, and the intersections of poverty, racism, and LGBT rights. In 2013, Richard received the National LGBT Bar Association Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 award.

Richard received his law degree from Fordham School of Law, where he was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest Law and Ethics, and his B.A. from Georgetown University. 

Gonzalez-Pagan and Saenz will be recognized at the 2018 HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference in San Francisco, CA this evening.