Brooks Pierce Attorney Collins Saint Featured in North Carolina Lawyer


Brooks Pierce attorney Collins Saint was featured in a Nov. 15 North Carolina Lawyer article, “Collins Saint Guides New Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee,” for his initiative in forming the committee in 2021.

In the Q&A interview, Collins explains his drive to create the committee and how they started taking action.

“Ever since I was in law school, I have really hoped for something like this,” he said. “Coming to North Carolina, not knowing much of anybody when I got here, it was important for me to find a way to connect with LGBTQ+ and allied attorneys. I wanted to find the space to do that, and I looked around with some of my friends in law school, including Drew Culler who is the current vice chair of the SOGI Committee, but we didn’t find a whole lot that was going to meet that need in North Carolina. Ever since then, Drew and I have spent a lot of time brainstorming and thinking about ways that we can make that happen.”

Collins and Drew talked with NCBA leaders about their idea, who advised them to put together a prospectus to present to the association’s president and executive director. After 18 months of meetings and hard work, Collins' dream finally became reality – a fully formed committee with members, funding, and goals.

“The last I checked, our initial roster for the committee was over 80 people, which is enormous for an NCBA committee and really shows the need that was there of people wanting to connect with other LGBTQ+ attorneys, as well as people wanting to grow in their abilities to serve LGBTQ+ clients and to develop CLEs around that space,” he said.

As for the year ahead, Collins said he has a lot planned, including gender marker correction and name change clinics for transgender community members; compiling a list of LGBTQ+ attorneys who are members of NCBA; and creating a continuing legal education (CLE) event on what every practitioner should know about representing an LGBTQ+ client.

Collins also goes on to emphasize the support he receives from Brooks Pierce in making time for professional development and community service initiatives.

“My firm is incredibly supportive of my work with the NCBA,” he said. “As I’m sure you know, there is a long list of Brooks Pierce attorneys who have held high leadership roles within the NCBA, including recently Kearns Davis as president and Will Quick as chair of the Young Lawyers Division. The firm has been incredibly supportive of my involvement, helping me carve out time to do the work and celebrating that this is a component that matters to their attorneys. Bar leadership and dedication to our profession are things that are very important for Brooks Pierce.”

Saint advises and litigates on behalf of public and private educational institutions and school boards on an array of education law issues, including special education and disability issues, civil rights laws, and tort claims. He also represents businesses in a variety of industries to resolve disputes, litigating in state and federal court when necessary. He has a particular focus on diversity and civil rights issues, including issues related to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and religion.

Read the full story here.  

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