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 as the Campaign Coordinator for #BornPerfect: The Campaign to End Conversion Therapy.

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 anti-LGBT 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


“The legal system can force open doors and sometimes even knock down walls. But it cannot build bridges. That job belongs to you and me.“

– Thurgood Marshall

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