Established in 2001 with a $2.5 million gift from Williams, the first law school initiative in the country dedicated to the study of sexual orientation and gender-identity law and public policy has since grown its staff to twenty scholars who have authored dozens of public policy studies, filed amicus briefs in key court cases, provided expert testimony at legislative hearings, and helped train more than three thousand judges in the area of sexual orientation law.
Williams, the president of Williams and Associates, has committed more than $15 million to the institute to date. He serves on the board of the UCLA Foundation, the UCLA School of Law board of advisors, and the Gill Foundation's OutGiving advisory committee.
"Chuck Williams recognized a critical need for high-quality academic research focused on issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people," said Brad Sears, assistant dean at the UCLA School of Law and executive director of the institute. "Because of his generosity, the Williams Institute has set a high bar for research, policy analysis, and education that directly inform LGBT issues. This remarkable new gift will fuel our growth as we expand our domestic and international research and education programs."