State Bar Of Montana Elects First Openly Gay President

Shane Vannatta, a Missoula lawyer specializing in Business 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- they’ve been together nearly sixteen- 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 Montana to lead safe and successful lives.

Congratulations, Shane and Jon -and congratulations, Montana!

4 comments on “State Bar Of Montana Elects First Openly Gay President

  1. Ted Hayes says:

    And there is hope! Jack would have been so proud.


  2. Cathy Cooney (Bigfork) says:

    So glad to read your story! It’s so nice to see progress.


  3. Brad Robinson says:

    I have known Shane since he started at (then) Worden, Thane, and Haines. His knowledge and expert abilities at guiding those less knowledgable in the law helped my partners and me create what has become a world class business in Montana. This is a great fit for the Montana Bar. I look forward to working with Shane in this new capacity.


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