ABOUT US

Our Mission

The QLaw Foundation of Washington promotes the dignity and respect of LGBTQ2S+ Washingtonians within the legal system through advocacy, education, and legal assistance.

Our Vision

A world in which no LGBTQ2S+ person will face additional barriers to authentic living, access to justice, or equality before the law because of their queer identity.

Our Services

QLaw offers a wide range of services to LGBTQ2S+ communities in Washington, including direct legal services, trainings, consulting, advocacy, litigation support, amicus work, and impact ligitation.

If you are a community member and would like to know more about the legal support we offer, check out our overview of our legal services here: Community One-Pager.pdf

If you are a service provider and would like to know more about referring people to our services, or working in coalition with us on an advocacy project, check out an overview of our partnership opportunities here:
(Organization One-Pager.pdf)

QLaw Foundation regularly assists individuals, organizations, or coalitions with their legal needs.  This can include advocacy letters, litigation support, amicus briefing, or co-counseling.  More than anything, we want to see Washington’s LGBTQ2S+ communities thrive – so if you need a legal organization on your side, reach out to info@qlawfoundation.org or 206-483-2725!

We also offer a wide range of training and consulting opportunities, including:

  • a training series for courts and legal services organization on best practices for serving LGBTQ2S+ populations
  • LGBTQ2S+ workplace inclusion trainings for managers and staff
  • Systems consulting, advising, organizational assessments, and audits

You can learn more about our offerings and pricing by emailing Executive Director Denise Diskin at denise@qlawfoundation.org.

 

QLaw Foundation is active in Washington’s courts, working on cases to advance LGBTQ2S+ civil rights in Washington. Our legal team has over ten years of litigation experience in state and federal courts, including the Washington Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States.  If you are interested in co-counseling, strategic litigation support, amicus briefing, or other advocacy, please get in touch!

QLaw Foundation was founded in 2008 as a community-oriented sibling organization to the QLaw Association of Washington, the LGBTQ+ bar association for Washington’s lawyers and legal professionals. While our organizations maintain separate boards and finances, we often work cooperatively on advocacy projects related to LGBTQ2S+ rights.  Our LGBTQ2S+ Legal Clinic opened its doors in July 2009, and was almost entirely volunteer-run until January 2019.  Since then, QLaw Foundation has expanded its legal services to include providing community legal resources, attorney and court trainings, systemic advocacy, and impact litigation.  We are proudly an organization that is run by, for, and about LGBTQ2S+ communities, grounded in and accountable to community relationships, centering the inherent wisdom our communities hold, and working for racial justice.

STAFF

Dallas Martinez

Staff Attorney
dallas@qlawfoundation.org

Dallas Martinez was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. They graduated high school and began working for a number of years before finding the resources to navigate their college career. Dallas is a first-generation college student and graduate. They were considered a non-traditional college student by most schools, as they attended college later in life, with a full-time job and family of their own. They graduated from Southern Methodist University with a double major in Psychology and Human Rights, and a minor in Philosophy. They went to law school at Arizona Summit Law School in Phoenix, Arizona. 

In law school, Dallas completed a fellowship with Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services (ALWAYS), as well as an internship with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). They served as the President of their school’s OUTLaw chapter. They were also a student member of the National Lawyers Guild. 

After law school, Dallas and their family relocated to Seattle, Washington. Dallas took the bar exam and became a licensed attorney in the fall of 2017. They opened a queer-centric law practice, dedicated to providing personal legal services on a sliding scale and pro bono basis. They were recognized by the Washington State Bar Association in 2019 and 2020 as a Pro Bono Publico Honor Roll Member. 

Dallas is zealously involved in community. Amongst other community projects and engagement, they currently serve as Chair on Spectrum Resource Center’s board of directors, an intergenerational and intersectional LBGTQIA2S+ non-profit they founded. They are also known as Coach Dallas to many kids that they have volunteer coached for. 

Aside from volunteering and providing legal advocacy, Dallas enjoys the great outdoors, traveling, and live music. They are always in search for new restaurants, local shops, and breweries. You also may see Dallas and their family at local Seattle sporting events, paying extra attention to underrepresented sports teams. 

Memberships and Leadership:

  • Washington State Bar Association 
  • QLaw Association of Washington 
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers 
  • King County Bar Association 
  • National Lawyers Guild 
  • Chair, Spectrum Resource Center 
  • Somos Seattle Board of Directors 
  • GenPride Community Outreach and Engagement Committee 
  • Rainier Valley Creative District Board of Directors 
  • Certifications 
  • Humanitarian Law Workshop, Arizona State University October 2016 
  • Legal Observer Training, National Lawyers Guild February 2016 
  • Mediation (40-hour Certification), Arizona Summit Law School July 2015 
  • Family Mediation and Domestic Violence Certification, Interaction Management Associates July 2015 
Veronica (Ronnie) Borean

Paralegal/Legal Services Manager
ronnie@qlawfoundation.org

Veronica Borean (Ronnie) has joined the Qlaw Foundation family as our Paralegal/Legal Services manager after working in several different areas of law including family, real estate, employment, business, and probate law.  She graduated from South Puget Sound Community College with her Paralegal Studies degree and certification in June 2022. She is now working on her bachelor’s degree in Pre-law Political Science at Washington State University. As a student, she was regularly involved with GSA activities/outreach and still offers herself as a resource to her former underclassmen. Ronnie is passionate about establishing strong communication within the LGBTQ+ community to create support networks and share knowledge regarding reliable aid resources.   

Ronnie was born in Canada in the picturesque coastal city of Victoria. Growing up with a parent in the U.S. Military she moved all over the country, her favorite being Hawaii, before settling in the PNW in 2015. Outside of work and school, you can often find Ronnie getting lost on a hiking trail, burying her nose in a book, or cooking for her friends and family. 

Denise Diskin

Executive Director
denise@qlawfoundation.org

Denise Diskin joined the QLaw Foundation as its first Executive Director after nearly ten years of legal practice representing individuals harmed by discrimination, with a particular focus on cases impacting individuals with multiple marginalized identities.  Her work is driven by the vision of building individual and community power through informed legal decision-making.  She is a frequent speaker on LGBTQ+ civil rights, employment discrimination, healthcare coverage for transgender and nonbinary people, and LGBTQ+ access to the legal system.

Before her legal career, Denise worked for several years as a labor organizer, teacher, and community arts program volunteer coordinator.  She started volunteering with QLaw Foundation’s LGBTQ+ Legal Clinic in 2009, which she went on to chair from 2011 to 2013.  She then started the LGBT Legal Clinic’s partner clinic with Ingersoll Gender Center and served for several years on the Sher Kung Summer Fellowship Committee.  She has lived in Santa Cruz, St. Louis, rural Missouri, Baltimore, and San Francisco, but in 2008 found her forever home in the Puget Sound.  She enjoys riding her bike, hiking, and cheering on OL Reign, Washington’s outstanding professional women’s soccer team.

Professional Honors, Leadership and Memberships
  • Washington State Bar Association (2009-present)
  • Puget Sound Business Journal Voices of Pride (2021)
  • Washington Leadership Institute Fellow (2018)
  • Washington Employment Lawyers Association CLE Committee (2015-2018)
  • Co-Chair/Member, QLaw Foundation Sher Kung Summer Fellowship Committee (2015-2018)
  • Washington State SuperLawyers – Rising Star (2014-2018)
  • Washington Won’t Discriminate Legal Committee (2017)
  • National LGBT Bar Association Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 (2016)
  • Community Leadership Award, Ingersoll Gender Center (2015)
  • QLaw Foundation Inaugural “Volunteer of the Year” Award (2015)
  • Latina/o Bar Association of Washington Legal Clinic Volunteer Attorney (2015)
  • QLaw Foundation Board of Directors (2011-2013)
  • Chair, GLBT Legal Clinic Committee (2010-2013)
Education
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, with honors
Shaun Wha Nieh

Operations Manager
shaunwha@qlawfoundation.org

Shaun Wha Nieh (they/them) is deeply committed to using their energy and skillset to further queer liberation and racial justice. Shaun Wha draws from their multifaceted community and from their experiences as an able-bodied, non-binary, first-generation Taiwanese person to inform their politics around community organizing and social justice work.Raised in Southern California, Shaun Wha started out in film production and received a B.A. in Film and Electronic Arts from Cal. State University, Long Beach. Their background in film led them to work at both local and international film festivals, including SIFF, Outfest, Sundance, and Tribeca.

Shaun Wha developed a mind for operations and shifted to program coordination and management, with their focus primarily on supporting local non-profit and educational organizations. They have worked at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), Town Hall, and most recently with Synchronicity Events, where they produced fundraisers and community events for non-profits.Shaun Wha feels strongly about developing effective systems to set communities and organizations up for success. As the new Operations Manager with QLawF, they are excited to develop and support meaningful, values-aligned projects to better uplift our communities.Shaun Wha currently lives on Duwamish land also known as Seattle, WA.

BOARD

Jennifer Barnes

President

Jen is a born-and-raised Seattle native. Jen possesses more than 25 years of experience leading companies and teams—within and outside the legal industry. She is most passionate about building remarkable, inclusive, rewarding work cultures and has received an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Workplace Flexibility and Best for Workers and Best for the World awards from BLab, among others. Jen currently serves as vice president on QLaw Foundation’s Board of Directors and is the co-chair of the Fundraising Committee. She also serves as vice president of Methow Valley Riding Unlimited, an equine assisted therapy organization. Previously, co-founded Wallingford Indivisible in 2017, served on the QLaw board in 2010, and as the vice chair and secretary of Equal Rights Washington 2006-2011. Jen sees recipes as a guide but not a rule, is scared of heights but still trying to overcome the fear, generally snorks when she’s laughing, and is happiest when surrounded by people, dogs, and laughter.

Jane Carmody

Vice President

Jane is an associate attorney at Perkins Coie, where she focuses on environmental and energy litigation along with project permitting and development. She is a native to both Eastern Washington, where she attended Whitman College, and New Mexico, but has settled into life in Seattle. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Law, where she was the Co-President of OUTLaws, the LGBT law student organization. Outside of legal work, Jane is an avid hiker and bird-watcher and likes to spend as much time outside with her wife, Phoebe, and other close friends.

Jonathan Barnard

Treasurer

Jonathan is a patent attorney at Stoel Rives LLP where he provides patent prosecution, tech transaction, and IP litigation support services relating to electrical and computer engineering technologies. Jonathan is also strongly committed to providing pro bono representation to underrepresented communities. In furtherance of this commitment, Jonathan has represented unaccompanied minors before State and Federal court regarding SIJS and Asylum proceedings, represented individuals convicted under unconstitutional Jim Crow-era laws, assisted in protecting voting rights, and assisted trans individuals in obtaining accurate government-issued ID, including name and gender-marker changes. Jonathan is a Pacific Northwest native (Portland), and in his free time, enjoys watching college football, playing tennis, swimming, and traveling.

Dana O’Day-Senior

Officer At Large
Program Oversight Committee Chair

Dana is a shareholder with Holmes Weddle & Barcott, P.C., where her practice focuses on workers’ compensation defense under the U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and its extensions. Prior to joining HWB in 2012, Dana spent two years as an attorney advisor to the Honorable William Dorsey of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. Dana graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law with a concentration in public interest law. While attending law school Dana was an officer in Hastings OutLaw (the law school’s LGBTQ organization), and volunteered with a variety of queer legal services agencies including NCLR, the Transgender Law Center, and the TGI Justice Project. Dana has been a volunteer attorney with the QLaw Foundation’s LGBTQ+ Legal Clinic since 2011 and currently serves as the Foundation’s Program Oversight Committee Chair. Dana also volunteers with a number of other organizations including Washington’s Professionals in Workers’ Compensation, Cascadia Junior Classical League, and the Hastings Law Journal alumni advisory committee. Dana is a member of the LGBT Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association, and previously served on the Section’s Executive Committee–including two stints as Chair–in a variety of capacities from 2011 through 2019. In her spare time, Dana enjoys playing and watching soccer, science fiction, writing, hiking, and cooking.

photo of Jacky with rainbow glasses and clothing
Jacky Sabin 

Immediate Past President

Jacky is currently pursuing her Masters in Mental Health Counseling, specializing in Mindfulness & Transpersonal Counseling at Naropa University with aspirations of cultivating a queer healing community. Most of her career has been spent in nonprofits and legal aid organizations, including serving as the former Legal Clinic Manager for QLaw. She is also a 2021 Just Lead Leadership Academy Fellowship graduate, focusing on racial justice. Jacky is passionate about access to justice and racial equity grounded in mindful awareness. She is also an advocate for the healing and restorative power of spending time in nature. While she is most often found with her nose in a book, hiking around Mt. Tahoma or snuggling her twin pugs, she is also a social butterfly making friends wherever she goes, especially over food!

Li Nowlin-Sohl

Ex Officio Officer

Li serves as Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project. Previously, Li was a staff attorney for the ACLU of Washington, an associate at Keller Rohrback in Seattle, clerked for the Honorable Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and was an associate with Paul Hastings LLP in Washington, D.C. She received her B.A. from Seattle University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she helped found the LGBTQ Rights Clinic. Outside of the law, Li enjoys attending live theatre, traveling, board games, and craft cocktails.

Kate Francis

Kate Francis is a staff attorney at the King County Bar Association’s (KCBA) DV Legal Advocacy Project (formerly the Family Law Mentor Program) where she provides pro bono representation to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in protection order and family law cases. Before joining KCBA, Kate served as the Legal Advocate at the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN) assisting survivors of domestic violence with their legal needs. Kate also serves on the Board of Directors of the King County Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence, a coalition of organizations working to end gender based violence and promoting equitable relationships through collective action for social change. Kate is a graduate of Grinnell College and Seattle University School of Law. During her free time, Kate enjoys playing soccer, skiing, swimming, and traveling.

Lisa smiles at the camera
Lisa Gilmore

Lisa is a partner at Helsell where she practices family law. Lisa has served on the QLaw Foundation board previously. Lisa has received recognition for her continued service with the King County Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Family Law Clinic, as well as Special Recognition from the GSBA Collaboration for Social Change, as well as the Cynthia Gillespie Award from the Northwest Women’s Law Center for her work with the Marriage Equality Team. Outside of work and service, Lisa enjoys playing soccer, sailing, skiing, and is an avid and longtime Seattle Storm ticket holder.

Theo smiling and looking to the left of camera wearing sunglasses and black hat
Theo Henry

Theo Henry:  Theo Henry (he/they) is an award-winning creative copywriter with eight years of experience in marketing, including creative positions held at globally recognized advertising agencies Fallon, Colle McVoy, Carmichael Lynch, and most recently, Copacino Fujikado. Theo has served a diverse roster of clients from retail, food & beverage, alcohol, healthcare, and the nonprofit sector to professional sports clubs, public transit, and his personal favorite, the Seattle Aquarium. Theo is currently a Senior Creative/Writer at Remitly, a ten-year-old FinTech company helping immigrants send money to loved ones around the world with more peace of mind.  As an avid writer, environmentalist, social justice activist and transgender cowboy, Theo can be found exploring the Pacific Northwest and beyond with his dogs, Jack the Formosan and Doctor Karev (no relation to the pediatric surgeon).

Kay Lee

Kay is a Principal Corporate Counsel at Rad Power Bikes, where she supports the Digital, Customer Operations, Brand, and Technology groups. Kay manages Rad’s global Trademark portfolio and claims/litigation docket. Kay is passionate about Privacy laws and is building Rad’s Privacy program. In her free time, Kay enjoys home-roasting coffee, exploring new restaurants and flavors, glamping, and visiting zoos and museums with her wife and toddler.

Imani looks seriously at the camera wearing glasses
Imani Shannon

Imani is an Equity & Justice Lead at the Washington State Bar Association, where they focus on engaging and training volunteers on advancing equity and justice, and are the staff liaison to the Diversity Committee. They’ve volunteered and worked in the civil legal aid space since 2010, including community-focused work with day laborers, survivors of domestic violence and as a Spanish/English translator. They are currently an Advisory Board Member for RISE, API Chaya’s peer-facilitated program for survivors of color of sexual violence. In their free time, they enjoy splashing around in any body of water, writing, and exploring new neighborhoods.

Quita smiles at the camera
Quita St. John

Quita is Owner and Managing Attorney, St. John Law Group where she practices exclusively in juvenile, criminal and DUI defense litigation. An alumna of Seattle University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude, Quita received her undergraduate degree – also with honors – from the University of Vermont. Her academic success and approach to compassionate counsel led to a successful career with the largest criminal defense law firm in Washington State before she moved on to private practice at St. John Law Group. Quita serves on the executive committee of the William L. Dwyer Inn of Courts. Quita volunteers her legal expertise with organizations such as QLaw free legal clinic and the Latino/a Bar Association free legal clinic.

Josh Treybig

Josh is a labor standards investigator at the Seattle Office of Labor Standards where he works to enforce city ordinances implemented to protect Seattle’s most vulnerable and low wage workers. He worked at King County Public Defense helping people who’ve been involved with the criminal legal system navigate the many civil legal issues presented by a criminal charge including housing, immigration, public benefits, employment, vacating convictions, and family law matters. Josh first joined the Board in 2015 as a law student representative. He volunteers in the QLaw Foundation Legal Clinic and was one of the 2017 Volunteers of the Year and received the National LGBT Bar Association’s Student Leadership Award in 2016. He is passionate about public service and social justice issues, working with numerous pro bono services and race equity organizations.

Praju Tuladhar

Praju is a Senior Corporate Counsel at Amazon, and has been with the company since 2012.  Prior to that, he was an associate in the Global Finance practice group at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago.  He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.  Outside of work and the QLaw Foundation Board, Praju enjoys supporting the arts and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

John Vogan

John is a Program Manager with Amazon Legal and has been with the company since 2016. He is native to the Pacific Northwest, but suffers from severe wanderlust and has enjoyed several stints abroad in London and New Zealand. John graduated from Ithaca College in upstate New York with a degree in journalism in 2014 and has worked in newsrooms for CBS and NBC. For now, John lives in West Seattle with his Schnauzer-Terrier, Xander, and looks forward to continue serving the LGBTQ+ community through the QLaw Foundation’s vital work.

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