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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Competing trans legal events set to take place in Chicago
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2015-07-28

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In order to provide individuals with a cost-effective alternative to the National LGBT Bar Association's Lavender Law Conference—Transgender Law Institute, a number of attorneys who work on trans legal issues got together and created the first-ever Trans Law Symposium. Both events will take place Aug. 7, just blocks away from each other.

The symposium will be held at Jenner & Block's Chicago offices, 353 N. Clark St. The event, which has a suggested donation of $30, will feature a keynote address from M. Dru Levasseur, national director of Lambda Legal's Transgender Rights Project.

In addition to Levasseur's keynote address, the symposium will also feature panels on trans health care, state legislative issues, employment law, and violence and detention as well as a skill-sharing session.

The Lavender Law—Transgender Law Institute, which will take place at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile, will feature sessions on transgender issues in private practice and the government and military as well as a session on transgender members of the judiciary.

The Transgender Law Center, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project are sponsoring the symposium.

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss ( professor of Law & Society at Ramapo College ), Ashe McGovern ( Equal Justice Works fellow, LGBT Law Project at New York Legal Assistance Group ) and Alison Gill ( senior legislative counsel, Human Rights Campaign ) are the symposium's co-chairs.

"The Planning Committee for the Trans Law Symposium is very appreciative of the LGBT Bar Association's hosting of a trans law institute in prior years, and many of our members were involved in that effort," said Weiss. "It can be nothing but good to have more and more people learning about trans legal issues. There were some divergences in vision that led us to create a new event outside of the Lavender Law context, but we hope there will be room to cooperate with the Bar Association in future years. We are not in competition; we are all on the same side."

"There's always room for more opportunities to educate within the legal profession around transgender issues," said D'Arcy Kemnitz, executive director of the National LGBT Bar Association. "We couldn't be happier to see another event taking place so more people can learn about the wide breadth of legal issues specific to the transgender community. We wish them all the best."

For more information and to register for the Trans Law Symposium, visit www.jtweisslaw.com/trans-law-symposium. See lgbtbar.org/annual/program/transgender-law-institute/ for more information on the National LGBT Bar Association's Transgender Law Institute.


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