Cathy Sakimura, Esq.
Deputy Director & Family Law Director
Cathy manages the day-to-day work of NCLR’s departments, provides strategic support to NCLR staff in achieving NCLR’s mission and goals, and oversees NCLR’s family law work. Cathy joined NCLR in 2006 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, when she founded NCLR’s Family Protection Project, which improves access to family law services for low-income LGBT parents and their children with a focus on increasing services to families of color. This project provides free legal information to low-income LGBT parents and their children; trains and supports attorneys providing free and low-cost services to these families; and works in coalition with organizations serving communities of color to provide culturally competent services to families of color.
She received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2006 and her B.A. from Stanford University in 2001. Prior to law school, she worked at Gay-Straight Alliance Network, where she empowered young people to combat harassment in their schools and participated in a multi-organization project linking work against homophobia with work against racism. Cathy was also previously a member of the Board of Directors of COLAGE, a national movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer parents.
Cathy is a national expert in LGBT family law, and in her role as Family Law Director, works on a range of issues including parentage, custody, adoption, assisted reproduction, relationship recognition, and public benefits. She is a co-author of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Family Law, published by Thomson Reuters. In 2012, she was named one of the Best LGBT Lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.