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Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Julie Wilensky, Esq.

Senior Staff Attorney

Julie Wilensky is a senior staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Her practice focuses on civil rights litigation to ensure the equal treatment of LGBTQ people in schools, employment and employee benefits, housing, and health care.

Before she joined NCLR in 2018, Julie was a Deputy County Counsel for the County of Santa Clara, where she was a member of the Social Justice & Impact Litigation section. Previously, she was the Director of the California office of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center and a shareholder at an employment and civil rights law firm in Oakland, where she litigated employment discrimination, disability rights, and employee benefits class actions. Julie also represented same-sex spouses and transgender people in cases involving pension and health benefits, including several cases as co-counsel with NCLR.

Julie received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was an articles and essays editor of the Yale Law Journal. She began her legal career as a Thomas Emerson fellow at David Rosen & Associates in New Haven. Julie served as a law clerk to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale College.

In 2019, the Bay Area chapter of the wayOUT LGBTQ Foundation honored Julie with the wayOUT Leadership Award. Julie received a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award in 2018. She was named by the Daily Journal in 2016 as one of California’s Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 and Top Women Lawyers, and she was recognized by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 in 2015. Julie is a past board member of NCLR and of BALIF, the Bay Area’s LGBTQI bar association.

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