Lambda Adds Seasoned Litigator to its Staff

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Susan Sommer is named Supervising Attorney for Lambda New York Headquarters
September 12, 2000

(NEW YORK, September 12, 2000) — Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund has expanded its legal forces with the addition of Susan Sommer as supervising attorney in Lambda’s New York headquarters. The veteran litigator brings Lambda’s total number of lawyers on staff nationwide to 17.

“I am proud to be part of Lambda’s groundbreaking legal work that is making civil rights history. I hope I too can make a difference on behalf of families, workers, young people, and others who are threatened by discrimination and even violence just because they are gay or have HIV and AIDS,” Sommer said.

Lambda Executive Director Kevin M. Cathcart said, “We are fortunate to have someone with Susan’s litigation and teaching experience helping to guide Lambda’s legal path. This veteran lawyer’s talents will greatly benefit our courageous clients and advance this civil rights movement.”

Said Lambda Legal Director Beatrice Dohrn, “Susan brings Lambda important supervisory as well as litigation experience that will help us increase the power of our work. I am thrilled that we are growing with such talent on our team.”

Sommer will conduct her own litigation in addition to overseeing the work of several of Lambda’s New York-based attorneys in all stages of Lambda’s precedent-setting cases. Sommer also will assess and propose potential new matters for Lambda’s docket and provide support to Lambda’s network of cooperating attorneys and others. Sommer also will work with the headquarter’s paralegal and intake coordinators, who assist hundreds of callers seeking Lambda’s assistance each year.

Sommer comes to Lambda from Brooklyn Law School, where she taught legal writing, appellate advocacy, and client counseling. Prior to that, Sommer was a litigator at Lankler Siffert & Wohl in New York, where she was a partner and then counsel, specializing in commercial, securities, antitrust, not-for-profit federal and state civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, and regulatory and attorney disciplinary proceedings. Earlier, Sommer was a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Sommer, 38, graduated in 1986 from Yale Law School, and holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Yale University. As a law student, she served as an editor for the Yale Law & Policy Review. Sommer also served as a law clerk for Federal District Court Judge William Schwarzer in the Northern District of California.

Sommer lives in Brooklyn with her husband Stephen Warnke, also an attorney, and their three children.

Lambda is the nation’s oldest and largest legal organization serving lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV and AIDS. Headquartered in New York, Lambda has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta.

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Contact: Peg Byron 212-809-8585 x 230, 888-987-1984 (pager)
Susan Sommer 212-809-8585 x 214


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