Skip to content

It looks like we may have content for your preferred language. Would you like to view this page in English?

A Conversation with Sasha Bass: Building an Inclusive Legal Community

In celebration of Pride Month, we’re proud to feature Trusts & Estates senior counsel Sasha Bass, who also serves as a Loeb Pride leader in our Los Angeles office. Below, Sasha discusses how Loeb Pride principles enhance her practice, the position of privilege lawyers have in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, upcoming initiatives for the group and how the legal industry can continue to support LGBTQ+ professionals and the broader community.

Tell us about your practice and the types of trust and estate matters you typically handle.

My practice is focused on estate and gift planning, with an emphasis on multigenerational planning, complex family trust structures and family business succession. I also advise a variety of clients on charitable gift planning and the formation and operation of private foundations.

What does being a part of Loeb Pride mean to you?

Loeb Pride is about more than affiliation. It’s about creating a sense of community both within and outside the firm and recognizing that we are here to support and stand up for each other.

Loeb Pride allows our LGBTQ+ lawyers to channel our energy and resources into advocating for ourselves and, just as importantly, for the interests of those who may not have a seat at the table. We elevate to leadership questions of interest to the community such as: Do we have the right policies in place to protect staff members in public-facing roles from discrimination? Can we mobilize to prepare health care documents for LGBTQ+ residents in underserved counties? How can we strengthen our ties with the nonprofits working to support our community? For the LGBTQ+ community, standing up for the marginalized and vulnerable is a core part of our value system. Loeb Pride lets us work together to do just that, for our colleagues and for members of our community outside the firm.

How does your involvement as a leader in Loeb Pride influence your practice?

Being a leader in Loeb Pride significantly influences my day-to-day practice. In trusts and estates, personal relationships are paramount. Understanding what’s important to clients, making them feel heard and safe, and aligning their interests with legal principles are all crucial aspects of my practice. The work I do with Loeb Pride—whether that’s balancing the competing ideas of our members or engaging with pro bono clients during a clinic—lets me develop and hone those skills. 

Are there any initiatives tied to the broader community that you are particularly focused on?

Within Loeb Pride, our initiatives extend beyond just internal support. Pro bono work is a significant avenue through which we support the LGBTQ+ community. This includes providing legal assistance to LGBTQ+ individuals, especially those facing discrimination or legal challenges.

Loeb Pride operates on three pillars: supporting and advocating for LGBTQ+ lawyers and staff within the firm, providing firmwide education and training on LGBTQ+ issues, and working to support the greater LGBTQ+ community through pro bono and other initiatives.  

For example, we’ve worked with Loeb’s Diversity & Inclusion team to host educational events promoting understanding and respect within the firm, such as our recent programming on transgender and nonbinary issues. 

Outside the firm, we provide legal assistance to LGBTQ+ individuals in the wider community. Inland Counties Legal Services is an organization that we work very closely with on health care directives that serve to further LGBTQ+ health care rights. We also focus on specific needs within the LGBTQ+ community, such as our work with Sage New York, which advocates and serves LGBTQ+ seniors, and Extraordinary Families, an organization that supports LGBTQ+ family planning.  

Looking ahead, which of the group’s goals and priorities excite you most?

I’m particularly excited about our upcoming pro bono opportunities, such as our support of health care and name-and-gender-change clinics. Collaborating with organizations like the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law allows us to address broader issues such as family law and domestic violence, with a focus on LGBTQ+ individuals. Partnering with women’s groups to advocate for changes in reproductive health law and adoption for same-sex individuals is also a key objective for the group. Moreover, expanding firm resources to support the broader community is essential for creating lasting change, and that is something I’m always excited about.

Beyond Pride Month, how can the legal industry support LGBTQ+ professionals?

Beyond Pride Month, the legal industry can actively support LGBTQ+ professionals by fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity year-round. This includes simple actions such as putting your pronouns in your email signature or Zoom name and respecting people’s pronouns and boundaries, as well as normalizing discussions around LGBTQ+ issues in professional settings.

Creating a safe environment where individuals feel comfortable being their authentic selves is crucial for retaining and promoting LGBTQ+ talent within the legal industry. Ultimately, promoting equality and embracing diversity is a human rights imperative and one that I believe will benefit the profession as a whole.