Please note: In November 2019, the Leading Practitioners Award was renamed to the Leading Family Law Practitioner Award.
The National LGBTQ+ Bar Leading Family Law Practitioner Award is awarded to recognize lawyers whose work supports LGBTQ+ families, in all of their configurations. Family law involves more than family creation and relationship dissolution. LGBTQ+ family law may also include allied practices in immigration, tax, military, benefits, children’s rights and welfare, disability rights, employment, bankruptcy, landlord-tenant, health care, decision making and managing costs.
The Award will be given each year to one individual who:
1) Is in the private practice of law, and
2) Has improved the lives of members of LGBTQ+ families, parents or children through outstanding legal work, demonstrated by a longstanding commitment to providing legal services of a high quality to the LGBTQ+ community; by commitment to significant
pro bono work for LGBTQ+ families, parents or children; or by leadership in significant impact litigation or advocacy affecting or in support of LGBTQ+ families, parents, or children while engaged in the private practice of law.
Each year, the Director of the LGBT Family Law Institute will appoint a committee to make a single nomination subject to approval of the LGBTQ+ Bar.
The National LGBTQ+ Bar is proud to honor Carrington “Rusty” Madison Mead with the 2021 Leading Family Law Practitioner Award. Rusty has been recognized by many organizations for his work for the less fortunate, and his advocacy, by multiple organizations both prior to and after becoming an attorney. He is the most recent recipient of the Florida Bar President’s Fourth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Award for 2021. He has been practicing law as a solo practitioner, since 2004 and is admitted to practice in Florida, and the Florida Northern and Middle District Courts of Florida. His practice areas include family, veteran, military & federal benefits and compensation, estate planning, probate and guardianship law, with a concentration in military and LGBTQI+ families. Rusty is a vetted member of the LGBT Family Law Institute®, co-sponsored by the National Center of Lesbian Rights and the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association. He is a regular trainer for the International Transgender Institute Association’s Board Certification in Transgender Therapy program. He also works with All Things Diverse, LLC providing diversity and inclusivity training to corporations, governmental agencies, colleges, and other employers and organizations across the United States. Rusty is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs in compensation and benefit matters, and a recognized expert in LGBTQI issues. Please join the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association in thanking Carrington “Rusty” Madison Mead for all of his hard work on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community, and in congratulating him on being the 2021 Leading Family Law Practitioner.
2021 | Lavender Law - Virtual
Carrington “Rusty” Madison Mead – Carrington Madison Mead, Esq.
2020 | Lavender Law - Virtual
Abby Rubenfeld – Rubenfeld Law Office, PC
2019 | Lavender Law - Philadelphia
Tiffany L. Palmer – Jerner & Palmer, P.C.
Fabiana Quaini – Quaini Law Firm
2018 | Lavender Law - New York City
Elizabeth Schwartz – Elizabeth F. Schwartz, P.A.
Zack Paakkonen – Portland Legal, LLC
2017 | Lavender Law - San Francisco
Debra E. Guston – Guston and Guston, LLP
Heather Fann – Fann Law, LLC
2016 | Lavender Law - Washington, D.C.
Noemi Masliah – The Masliah Firm
Cynthia Barrett – Cynthia Barrett, Attorney at Law
2015 | Lavender Law - Chicago
Bridget Wilson – The Dean Law Group, APLC
2014 | Lavender Law – New York
Carol Buell, Partner, Weiss, Buell & Buell
Judith Turkel, Turkel Forman LLP
2013 | Lavender Law – San Francisco
Bill Singer, Partner, Singer & Fedun, LLC