One Texan appears on the National LGBT Bar Association’s list of 40 “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 Class of 2012,” released on July 18. Nathan Pearman, an associate with Dallas’ Bickel & Brewer, says he believes the LGBT Bar Association based his selection for the honor equally on his achievements in the legal field and his advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, including his work to establish benefits at his firm for domestic partners.
During the summer of 2008, Pearman clerked for two federal judges. He served as articles editor on the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights while attending the University of Texas School of Law; he graduated in 2010. Pearman says he does civil rights pro bono work for LGBT-related causes as a cooperating attorney for the Lambda Legal Network and he volunteers to help with estate planning at his church, Cathedral of Hope in Dallas.
The National LGBT Bar Association – a group of lawyers, judges, legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated LGBT legal organizations – received three letters nominating Pearman for the honor. In two of the letters, the nominators stressed Pearman’s role in urging his firm to offer domestic partner benefits.
“We’re still actively working on it,” Pearman says, adding that he is confident Bickel & Brewer will establish domestic partner benefits soon. "It's not a question of if this will happen, but how it will happen," he says.
In an email sent by spokesman Travis Carter, firm partner William A. Brewer III writes, “We are proud of Nathan and his many contributions. He is a talented young attorney with an incredibly bright future.”
In the same email, firm director of administration Michael McCormack notes, “Bickel & Brewer encourages its professionals to provide input on the firm’s HR policies, and is continually evaluating its administrative and benefit programs. Nathan has brought up the issue conversationally and we are exploring making changes to the firm’s benefits program.”
A spokeswoman for the National LGBT Bar Association did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
-- Miriam Rozen