D Gregory Smith

Montana State Bar Elects First Openly Gay President

Filed By D Gregory Smith | September 20, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Montana, openly gay lawyer, rural success, Shane Vannatta, State Bar

Shane Vannatta, a Missoula, Montana lawyer specializing in 333768_155898304497296_155897861164007_286240_1883100193_o.jpgBusiness Law was inducted as the President of the Montana State Bar Association on September 15th. Besides being an ambitious man with a heart for community service and pro bono work, Shane is also a native Montanan (Bainville) and an openly gay man.

"I'm really looking forward to doing good things," Vannatta said.

Vannatta graduated from Bainville High School and attended the University of Montana, graduating with a degree in political science in 1990. He graduated from The University of Montana Law School in 1993, with honors. He has been with the firm of Worden Thane since that time.

Vannatta recently finished a seven-year term as chair of the Western Montana Bar Association pro bono program and was instrumental in the organization of the program.

Full disclosure: I've known Shane and his partner for years, and it couldn't happen to a better guy. And there's something important about this: Shane's election is one more reason LGBTQ kids don't have to leave to lead safe and successful lives.

Congratulations, Shane and Jon - and congratulations, Montana!

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Congratulations, Shane! You are having a positive impact on the lives of thousands of other Montanans by being open about who you are, and continuing to be the genuine person I know you to be.

Best wishes from Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.

Jim Toevs