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We write in response to the article on the presence of openly lesbian and gay attorneys at law firms, including San Francisco firms [" Bigger the Firm, Bigger the Closet," Dec. 12]. According to the article, the average percentage of openly lesbian and gay attorneys at the country’s 20 largest law firms has remained static over the past two years. Like University of Michigan law student Nadine Gartner, who was quoted in the article and who plans to practice public interest law, we have chosen careers outside the law firm world. We work at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center here in San Francisco, where we represent a whopping 31.25 percent of the attorneys affiliated with the organization (and where openly lesbian and gay employees comprise a similar percentage of the entire staff). It’s a wonderful place to work � We have all been welcomed and appreciated in our office, including a work-sponsored celebration for the two of us who wed our partners during San Francisco’s then-sanctioned marriages. We are treated as individuals, and evaluated on our legal abilities and our contributions to the office’s mission. Our partners are invited to share in our health care and other benefits. Of course, we expected our experience to be a positive one, given that our office has taken a leading role over the years in combating discrimination against gays and lesbian employees, persons with HIV/AIDS and transgender workers. But we believe our experience is the norm in the nonprofit legal sector, where we see our gay and lesbian public interest attorney-peers routinely treated with respect, and their relationships affirmed. We wish the same for Ms. Gartner, and invite Bay Area gay and lesbian attorneys interested in working in an open, accepting environment � and in making a difference in the world � to consider public interest work. Michael T. Gaitley Shelley A. Gregory Elizabeth Kristen Lewis Bossing Anya Lakner You can send Letters to the Editor to The Recorder, 10 United Nations Plaza, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102; by fax at (415) 749-5549; or at [email protected].

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