News & Insights


June 4, 2017

National LGBT Bar Association Names Merritt McAlister to List of Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2017 — The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association has selected Atlanta partner Merritt McAlister for its 2017 list of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

“These exceptional attorneys represent the best and brightest that our legal profession has to offer,” the organization stated. “They fight for the rights of the LGBT community in all that they do.”

McAlister is a member of the firm’s national appellate and strategic counseling practice. She has successfully handled dozens of appeals in federal and state courts throughout the country. She was named to Benchmark Litigation’s Under 40 Hot List, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. McAlister maintains an active pro bono practice, focusing on appellate-level representation in the Eleventh Circuit, where she frequently accepts appointed cases involving criminal, federal habeas corpus, and civil rights issues.

In March, she and associate Sedric Bailey—working along with Lambda Legal—obtained a significant civil rights victory on behalf of a Georgia transgender client whose name-change petition had been denied by a lower court, which said it would cause “confusion.” The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed that decision, and ordered the lower court to grant the name-change request. In 2012, also before the Georgia Court of Appeals, McAlister successfully represented an adoptive parent seeking to vindicate her parental rights as a same-sex parent under Georgia law. For her pro bono work, Ms. McAlister was honored as a Woman Making A Mark by Atlanta Magazine in 2015.

McAlister also is a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2017, serves on the board of Planned Parenthood Southeast, and is a member of the University of Georgia Law School Association Council. She is a past president of the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia.

The National LGBT Bar Association will recognize the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 awardees at the organization’s Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair on Aug. 3 in San Francisco. The National LGBT Bar Association is an affiliate of the American Bar Association.

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