PRIDE POINT: Attorney Lindsey Rosellini ‘07

Attorney Lindsey Roselinni  '07

Lindsey Rosellini ‘07 is an attorney with the Health Consumer Center of Bay Area Legal Aid (BayLegal), which provides direct legal assistance to some of the most vulnerable populations in the Bay Area. At BayLegal, Rosellini handles cutting-edge legal issues and provides representation to clients with health care access issues. Rosellini also serves on the Board of Directors of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the largest and oldest LGBTQ bar association in the country.

Last fall, Rosellini returned to Saint Mary’s to participate in a panel discussion on Careers in Law and Justice, sponsored by the Liberal Arts Bridge (LAB), as part of the program’s ongoing initiative to help students in the School of Liberal Arts transition into a meaningful career. Rosellini also participated in the Center for Women & Gender Equity discussion, “Do What You Love: Make Ends Meet” aimed at helping students build sustainable career pathways for their vocations and passions.

“I loved my major in Communication. It captured everything: business, women’s studies, media, theory, public speaking, politics, social justice, and law. I was so engaged with that” said Rosellini. “A liberal arts education is very relevant because the way that younger generations are navigating career paths is very fast and flexible. People are shaping their own careers and moving outside of these boxes.”

Rosellini also noted that the Women’s Resource Center, now renamed the Center for Women and Gender Equity (CWGE), influenced her to pursue a law degree. In a 2018 conversation with CWGE Director Sharon Sobotta, Rosellini shared the appeal of law, the journey to finding the right fit, and ways they continue to pay the social justice mission of Saint Mary’s forward.

Q: Why did you decide to go into law?

“I decided to go into law because when I got involved with the Women's Resource Center and with the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at the time, I really enjoyed helping people, and reaching marginalized communities. I like giving people a voice, and giving myself a voice—and I wanted to do something professionally where I could do that for others. I chose law as that avenue.”

Q: What prompted you to pursue law in the nonprofit world?

“I got involved with the LGBT Bar Association in Los Angeles, and started connecting with attorneys and legal professionals. I really wanted to go into nonprofit public interest work. There are many ways to advocate in the legal profession. Oftentimes, it doesn't actually reach the communities that need it most, so I felt very strongly about going into nonprofit and public interest law.

Q: Talk about finding your home at Bay Area Legal Aid.

“I learned about Bay Area Legal Aid when I moved back to Oakland after law school. I have a friend that worked there who said there was an opening in their department. I was determined to get that job, so I seized the opportunity and was very persistent. I've now been there for two years helping people get healthcare, helping with their medical debt, and providing assistance so they can access the services they need to live healthy lives.”

Q: How do you continue paying forward the social justice work that you started when you were a student at SMC both in your personal and your professional life?

“One of the things I learned at Saint Mary's was the importance of community and giving back to those who have less access. It’s hard when you're a trans person, honestly. Sometimes you feel like giving up. Sometimes you feel very unsatisfied and unfulfilled by the spaces that you might enter. My advice is to just keep trying. You will find people that see you, appreciate you, have space for you, and will treat you with dignity and respect. You will find those people, and when you do hang on to them. Throughout the Bay Area, there are many resources geared towards trans people. The SF LGBT Center has a trans employment program. Contact those places for information on events that are happening, start attending, and see where it goes.”

Rosellini was sworn into the California State Bar in 2012, after earning a Juris Doctorate from the University of La Verne (ULV) College of Law. Rosellini loves cooking, art, reading, wandering around different areas, pizza, and recently fell in love with triathlons.