James Gilliam is the deputy executive director of the ACLU of Southern California. Before coming to the ACLU/SC he worked at the law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker LLP, where he served as a litigation associate and associate pro bono coordinator. In the latter role, he worked closely with ACLU/SC attorneys on a successful lawsuit challenging conditions under which immigrants were detained in downtown Los Angeles, and on the legal effort to overturn California’s Proposition 8, among other cases. Some of Gilliam's other pro bono cases included a matter for a gay teenager whose parents kicked him out of their home when he disclosed his sexual orientation and his desire to transition to female, and representation of an HIV+ woman who was facing deportation. Gilliam also assisted the HRC with vital research used to advocate for equal marriage rights in Oregon. Gilliam has a B.S. in sociology/social welfare policy from Middle Tennessee State University, where he graduated in 2000 as valedictorian of his class. He obtained his J.D. from Loyola Law School in 2003, Order of the Coif, and worked for the Hon. Harry Pregerson of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. During law school Gilliam externed for Lambda Legal and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and he received a research fellowship from the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, to conduct research on various law schools' efforts to ameliorate the military's on-campus recruiting presence. Gilliam's law review article, "Toward Providing a Welcoming Home for All: A New Approach to Address the Longstanding Problems LGBT Youth Face in the Foster Care System," has been widely cited by both scholars and practitioners. He has also published a book review of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Debating the Gay Ban in the Military" in the Journal of Homosexuality. In 2007 he became the most junior attorney ever to receive Loyola’s Pro Bono Alumni of the Year Award for his work at Paul Hastings. He is co-chair of the Sexual Orientation Bias Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In 2010, the National LGBT Bar Association--on whose Board of Directors Gilliam previously served--named him one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.