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

Samantha Ames, Esq.

BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator & Staff Attorney

Samantha Ames joined NCLR in August 2012 as a Policy Fellow in the Washington, D.C. office, during which time she created advocacy materials for NCLR’s federal policy work, legislation, and court cases. In 2013, she moved to San Francisco to work as a Staff Attorney in NCLR’s national office, focusing on conversion therapy cases and youth issues. In 2014, she joined the Youth Project and became the founding Campaign Coordinator for #BornPerfect: The Campaign to End Conversion Therapy. She has testified on the harms of conversion therapy and the constitutionality of efforts to end it before both state and federal bodies, as well as at the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva, Switzerland.

Prior to joining NCLR, Samantha worked with the DC National Lawyers Guild as a pro bono law clerk, assisting lawyers on cases involving political demonstrators and progressive social issues, and providing trial preparation and materials for protestors demonstrating in support of efforts to pass the DREAM Act, repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and end the war in Iraq. In 2011, she served as a Holley Law Fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, where she developed legislative and regulatory protections addressing employment discrimination. Prior to that, she was a legal intern at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, working towards repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and providing free legal counsel to service members facing anti-LGBT discrimination. During law school, she served as a Dean’s Fellow and was the Senior Articles Editor on the Federal Circuit Bar Journal. In 2012, Samantha’s research for George Washington University Law School on the state of Title VII protections for transgender plaintiffs in employment law earned her the Justice Thurgood Marshall Civil Liberties Award.

Samantha received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2008, where she graduated cum laude with a major in theatre arts and honors in psychology. She received her J.D., with honors, from George Washington University Law School in 2012.

Favorite Quote

“In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s nor merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.“

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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