Willian J. Thom (born, 1941) is an American layer, judge and founder of Lambda Legal, an American civil rights organization that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities as well as people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) through impact litigation, societal education, and public policy work.
The founding of Lambda Legal was met with a setback from the start. Thom, submitted incorporation papers for approval to the New York Courts in 1971, but his application was denied on the grounds that its proposed activities would be contrary to public policy. That decision was overturned in 1973 by the New York Court of Appeals, which is the highest court of New York State.
The work of Lambda Legal has been pivotal in many LGBT rights cases including the 6-3 United States Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated sodomy laws in the United States.