Deputy Director/Senior Staff Attorney
Janson Wu joined GLAD’s legal staff in May 2006. In addition to his responsibilities as Senior Staff Attorney, Janson is currently serving as Deputy Director until a new Executive Director is hired.
Janson has worked on a broad range of litigation and legislation. He was lead counsel in In re Madelyn B., in which the New Hampshire Supreme Court found that a non-birth, unmarried mother could be found to be an equal parent. Janson was part of GLAD’s legal team that challenged Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in two cases in federal court, leading to the first District Court and Court of Appeals victories against DOMA. In Maine, Janson was lead counsel in litigation that led Denny’s restaurant to allow transgender customers to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. Legislatively, Janson helped lead efforts to pass marriage equality in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Before coming to GLAD, Janson worked as a coordinating attorney with Tri-City Community Action Program, a multi-service, anti-poverty organization, where he provided legal services to low-income individuals. Prior to that, Janson was an associate at the litigation law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco. He has served on the ABA’s Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and on the Legal Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Janson is a graduate of both Harvard University and Harvard Law School and was named a 2011 "Best LGBT Lawyer Under 40" by the National LGBT Bar Association. Janson was also the 2012 recipient of the American Constitution Society’s David Carliner Award, which recognizes one outstanding mid-career public interest lawyer a year whose work best exemplifies its namesake’s legacy of fearless, uncompromising and creative advocacy on behalf of marginalized people.
Read a profile of Janson Wu, "Marriage Equality's Lawyer," in The Progressive