Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kaye Scholer Wins Asylum for Transgendered Client

I've bragged here about my former law firm employer, WilmerHale, for their excellent pro bono work. As it happens, I changed megafirms in November 2009 and am now employed at Kaye Scholer, a NYC-based firm, in their Washington office. They, too, have a great pro bono program.   In the course of my work I work closely with a female African American attorney who focuses on pro bono cases involving discrimination, which feels very good.

Big law definitely does give back, as is evidenced by the following.  Recently an immigration court granted asylum to one of the firm's pro bono clients who is transgendered.  In this client's native country, transgenders are social outcasts who are routinely attacked by the police and other armed groups. Because of the violence, the client fled in order to transition to the opposite gender in the United States. The immigration court's decision ensures that our client will be more protected from homophobic violence and more able to lead a normal life here.

Transgendered people are by far the most harrassed and discrminated against of all sexual minority groups, including the United States.  It takes tremendous courage and not a little risk to be who you really are when you are a trans person.  As a sexual freedom advocate, I support the rights of all transgendered people to live their lives as they choose without fear as consenting adults, and this is why I am especially pleased just now to say I am a Kaye Scholer employee. 

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