About Our Firm

lgbtq attorney Angelyn Gates of The Gay Family Law Center

Attorney Angelyn Gates

is the Supervising Attorney for the Gay Family Law Center, and Director of LGBT Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning. She is passionate about helping the LGBTQ community plan for their future and strives to provide our clients with the best legal representation.

Ms. Gates has a vast expanse of legal knowledge and experience which makes Gay Family Law Center excited to have her as our Estate Planning Director; for an attorney who not only understands LGBTQ Estate Planning, but has extensive knowledge of the legal and human world in which we live, is better suited to foresee potential issues down the line and advise our clients how to plan for them, or preferably avoid them altogether.

Ms. Gates not only gives our clients a full and thorough estate plan, but she also gives our clients her exceptional insight into the bigger picture of their legal lives and she is able to consult with them and understand the breadth of each person’s unique life.

Ms. Gates provides our clients with peace of mind and security in their personal financial affairs.

Ms. Gates’ twenty-seven years of experience as a licensed California attorney gives her insight and knowledge of the law that benefits all our clients. Ms. Gates graduated in the top of her class from a top 10 national law school (Hastings College of the Law). She was chosen by the California Supreme Court for a coveted intern position while still a law student. Ms. Gates’ education, experience, and skill as a top-notch attorney has gained her admission to not only the California State Bar, but the bars of the United States District Court, Central District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Gates has utilized her impressive ability to excel in the understanding and creative use of the law to represent hundreds of clients at a time when they needed her most. Her dedication and drive to do the best for her clients has taken her in to a variety of arenas. Due to her fearless nature, not only does Ms. Gates have a wealth of transactional work (legal documents and contracts), including Trusts, Wills, and Powers of Attorney, she also has vast experience in many areas of civil and criminal law, including trademark, copyright, service mark, unfair business practices, landlord/tenant, and torts.

The GFLC clients are happy to have Ms. Gates on their team as her skill, creativity, and caring provide truly unique and special representation.

Lawyer Michelle Paul of the Gay Family Law Center

Attorney Michelle Paul

is a member of the California, Washington DC, and Virginia State Bars, as well as the United States District Courts for the Central and Eastern Districts of California.  Ms. Paul received her Juris Doctor from American University – Washington College of Law after graduating from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts in English/Writing.  She also holds a Masters degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Virginia.  As an attorney, Ms. Paul worked in the organized crime division for her county prosecutor’s office before starting her own civil litigation practice. She has worked for three litigation firms, where she focused primarily on family law, animal rights law, corporate law, property law, and trust and estate law.  Throughout her legal career, Ms. Paul has provided pro bono legal representation to human and animal rights organizations. Ms. Paul has served on several legal committees and is currently a member of the Litigation Section of the California State Bar.
Ms. Paul is passionate about the practice of law and enjoys the heavy client interaction that goes along with it.  Ms. Paul enjoys advocating for her clients both inside and outside of the courtroom.  Although she will never back down from a litigation challenge, she will always attempt to resolve matters amicably when possible and in the best interests of her client.  Ms. Paul is always sympathetic to her clients’ needs and they, in turn, appreciate her knowledge, professionalism, and the keen attention to detail that she possesses. Ms. Paul is a valuable asset to the firm, her clients, and the LGBT community.

Lawyer Mark Lechter of the Gay Family Law Center

Attorney Mark Lechter

is a member of the New York and Connecticut State Bars. Born in Montreal, Canada, he graduated from Vermont Law School in 1989.  In 1990 he began his legal career in New York City working as Assistant United States Counsel for Air France. During his time with Air France he worked extensively in dispute resolution, human resources, and contract negotiations.  In 2000, Mark’s negotiation and resolution experience landed him the position of Assistant General Counsel for a web design firm catering to Fortune 500 companies. Again Mark’s work focused on human resources and negotiating contracts. In 2004, Mark took a break from the practice of law and he and his partner moved to Florida where they owned and operated a busy and successful retail store in Fort Lauderdale.  Both he and his partner (now his husband) were active with Equality Florida. In 2015, they sold their business and moved to the Palm Springs area.  Mark recently joined Gay Family Law Center as our Administrative Director.  Mark’s extensive experience working with people during troubling times and his understanding of various aspects of the law make him a unique asset of our firm. Mark will be taking the California State bar examine soon and we look forward to also adding him to our team of lawyers thereafter.

Lawyer Chelsea M Norris of the Gay Family Law Center

Attorney Chelsea M. Norris

is a graduate of the Juris Doctorate program at UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, California. During her tenure at UCLA, Ms. Norris served as Submissions Editor for the UCLA Women’s Law Journal and Article Selection Editor for the Dukeminier Awards Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law. During all three years of law school, Ms. Norris volunteered with the Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Project, drafting hundreds of declarations for victims of domestic violence seeking Temporary Restraining Orders on an emergency basis. Throughout law school, Ms. Norris also found time to mentor underprivileged high school students in the Los Angeles area through Minds Matter.

Ms. Norris received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with an Outstanding Performance Award, and a second major in Women and Gender Studies from the University of California at Davis. Ms. Norris studied politics, Hindi, and women’s rights in India for six months during college at the University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad, India and the Landour Language School in Mussoorie, India. Ms. Norris volunteered at the State Capital to monitor Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s public image. Ms. Norris was also a member of the Integrated Studies Honors Program and a recipient of the Regents Scholarship, United Technologies Scholarship, and Dean’s List.

Ms. Norris’ practice is strictly focused on the issues of family law litigation and mediation, including child custody and visitation, spousal support, child support, business valuation, prenuptial agreements, and judgment enforcement. However, Ms. Norris also has experience in state and federal criminal defense, class actions, consumer fraud, and wage and hour cases in employment law.

The Gay Family Law Center

Just like any family, LGBT family challenges come in all shapes and sizes. The Gay Family Law Center has an unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge in LGBT divorce and dissolution, same​-​sex adoption, LGBT surrogacy, child custody, and visitation. We also specialize in LGBT pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, LGBT wills, trusts, and estate planning, as well as Marvin Actions and LGBT co-habitation agreements.

At Gay Family Law Center, our attorneys understand your concerns and honor your unique experience. Our lawyers have deep expertise in LGBT family law and an unwavering commitment to achieve the best outcome for you and/or your children.

We understand your situation, so give us a call today to discuss your needs at 855 LAW-LGBT (529-5428).

Gay Family Law Center Memberships


Gay Family Law Center is a member of the Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce