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I think more representation needs to be out there, and this is a time where I am actually hopeful that representation will be meaningful. I don’t know of any other nonbinary attorneys in Biglaw. I’m aware of nonbinary attorneys at smaller firms and shops. So I think it’s a really big deal that we can break that barrier. Being gender-nonconforming as a litigator is not uncomplicated: litigation is about sharing narratives and stories and presenting the more believable version of the truth by having a story fit together and work.
Part of that story is the lawyer: they’re the narrator putting together a picture of themselves that should support the truth they’re telling. As it stands, being nonbinary has the possibility of distracting from that story, and I’m trying to leverage my position in Biglaw and make it less likely that this will be something a judge may find distracting.
— Rafael Langer-Osuna, a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Squire Patton Boggs, commenting on their decision to come out as one of Biglaw’s openly nonbinary attorneys. Langer-Osuna uses they/them pronouns, and says of their coming out at the firm, “After recognizing that this is a lifelong journey that I’m working through that is not shared by the majority of people around me, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be who I am, fully, with people I work with.”