Spurgeon Fellowship recipient Bree Spaulding working in LGBTQ+ law at Lambda Legal

Jun 07, 2023 | Belonging & Access

by Lindsay Wilcox

Bree SpauldingBree Spaulding, a rising 3L student at Utah Law, was awarded the Spurgeon Fellowship, which provides a stipend for a proposed public service project or placement in a low-paying or non-paying public service summer job. She recently began her field study program at Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities through public policy work, education, and litigation, in Chicago.

Though she says she has followed Lambda Legal’s work since high school, Bree spent a weekend in Chicago in fall 2022 and it cemented her goal of finding a summer job there.

“I work on various projects in policy and litigation. My current project is policy-based, involving the analysis of several gender-affirming care bans in state legislatures,” Bree says of her work. “I attend legal department meetings where attorneys discuss ongoing and upcoming cases, strategy meetings where the attorneys discuss the long-term goals of our litigation, and intern meetings where I get to socialize with the interns from other regional offices and discuss projects.”

Bree says she loves working with some of the brightest minds in LGBTQ+ law and that they are so approachable and willing to share their experiences.

“It is also incredible to be working at an organization that has had a very significant impact on the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. I recently came across some files containing amicus briefs from Romer v. Evans (1996), a landmark case in LGBTQ+ rights, and was struck with the realization that we are truly making history here,” Bree says. “Lambda Legal has been a large part of LGBTQ+ history, and it is such a privilege for me to be a small part of that history in the making.”

When she graduates in spring 2023, Bree plans to work in the public interest sector, most likely for a nonprofit.

“I am particularly interested in LGBTQ+ rights, and I think the work is especially necessary with the recent uptick in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in state legislatures,” she explains.

With one year of law school left, Bree says she is especially grateful for S.J. Quinney’s great faculty and supportive staff.

“I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some really incredible legal minds at SJQ, and I am grateful for the advice and skills I’ll use throughout my career,” she expresses. “I’ve also leaned on SJQ staff during challenges and have always felt like they gave me the resources I needed to succeed.”