LGBT Law Section


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Q. What is the most valuable benefit members get from joining your Section that they can’t get anywhere else? 

There are many benefits for Section members; however, arguably the most valuable is the opportunity to receive periodic updates about changes to various areas of the law that may have important impacts on LGBTQ+ clients, litigants, or community members broadly. Related to this, Section members also are entitled to discounted rates on CLEs, which the Section holds throughout each calendar year, and which expand on various law changes and other relevant updates.

Q. What is a recent Section accomplishment or current project that you are excited about?

Most recently, our Section hosted our year-end CLE: 2021 Hot Topics in LGBTQ+ Law. The CLE had just over 25 attendees, and the presentations covered law changes in areas including statutory and case law banning conversion therapy, minor guardianship statutes, domestic violence protection statutes, and public accommodations law.

Q. What opportunities does your Section provide for members who are looking for a mentor or for somebody to mentor?

We are currently working on developing a formal networking program within the Section, but we also work to refer members to formal networking opportunities with other community organizations, such as QLaw Association of Washington. Further, through discussions at meetings and social events,Section membership offers informal networking opportunities as well. 

Q. What advice do you have for building a successful practice in the area of law related to your Section and how does membership in your Section help do that? 

The laws that impact LGBTQ+ clients and litigants are extremely diverse and wide ranging. It is therefore important to continue to develop community-specific legal skills and knowledge, not only within one’s own practice area(s), but in various other practice areas. So as to ensure ongoing cultural competency within the broader community, itis also important to maintain and stay up to date with changing attitudes and relevant information.

Section membership promotes these practice skills directly by ensuring timely notice about updates to various practice areas, as well as access to substantive updates and reflections on the importance of different updates/changes. Further, Section members have the opportunity to communicate with, collaborate with, and learn from other Section members who may represent different segments of the community, as well as different practice areas.

Q. In addition to membership in your Section, what are the best ways to stay up on the developing law in this practice area? 

Internet searches focusing on area-specific law changes/updates, as well as following relevant cases through the different courts and/or utilizing court trackers. 

MORE ONLINE > More information about the LGBT Law Section, and other WSBA Sections, at


Titles Available From the Lending Library Related to LGBT Law and Other Topics

  • Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States, by Joey L. Mogul, Andrea J. Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock
  • Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact, edited by Derald Wing Sue
  • Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing, by Verna A. Myers
  • Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment: A Developmental Strategy to Liberate Everyone, by Leticia Nieto
About the author
About the author

Peder T. Punsalan-Teigen is the current chair of the LGBT Law Section. Punsalan-Teigen is an associate at Skellenger Bender, P.S. in Seattle; his practice focuses on various aspects of family law, including LGBTQ-specific issues. He earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association, King County Bar Association, Family Law Institute, National LGBT Bar Association, QLaw (LGBT Bar Association of Washington), Filipino Lawyers of Washington, and William L. Dwyer American Inn of Court. In addition to his volunteer service with the LGBT Law Section and in other bar association activities, Punsalan-Teigen has served as a co-chair of QLaw’s Judicial Evaluations Committee since 2019. 

MORE ONLINE > June is traditionally celebrated as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, in honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. For more information, find your local Pride organization, or visit