Julie Wilensky, Esq. she / her / hers
Senior Staff Attorney
Julie Wilensky is a senior staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Her practice focuses on litigation and advocacy to ensure the equal treatment of LGBTQ people in many contexts, including schools, employment and employee benefits, housing, and health care.
Julie has more than a decade of experience litigating civil rights and public interest cases. Before joining NCLR in 2018, she was a Deputy County Counsel for the County of Santa Clara, where she was a member of the Social Justice & Impact Litigation section and successfully represented the Registrar of Voters at trial. Previously, she was the Director of the California office of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center. Before that, Julie was a shareholder at an employment and civil rights law firm in Oakland, where she litigated employment discrimination, disability access, and employee benefits class actions. She also represented same-sex spouses and transgender people in cases involving pension and health benefits, including several cases as co-counsel with NCLR.
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 received her JD from Yale Law School, where she was an Articles & 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 clerked for Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She received her BA summa cum laude from Yale College.