Transgender Law Institute

August 6, 2016 – Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel

The 2016 Transgender Law Institute will be held in Washington, DC on August 6 as part of the National LGBT Bar Association’s 2016 Lavender Law® Conference & Career Fair. The Institute is a space for the leading legal minds involved with the transgender community to share ideas and network.

2016 Transgender Law Institute Application

Apply Now.

The Institute will host experienced practitioners and academics focusing on legal issues affecting the transgender community. Participants will share their collective wisdom and discuss cutting-edge legal strategies.

To create an environment that encourages the free flow of information, registration is limited. The meeting will be closed, the proceedings will not be recorded, and the Institute does not qualify for continuing legal education (CLE) credit.

Images from the National LGBT Bar Association Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair at the Sheraton New York Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. Photo by

To help guarantee that the level of discourse remains at a high level, and to ensure that all participants are able to contribute
meaningfully to the conversation, we are asking that interested parties submit their information on the following application:

Transgender Law Institute Application

For approved applicants, the cost to attend the Transgender Law Institute is included in the registration fee for the 2016 Annual Conference.

 2016 Transgender Law Institute Agenda


Across the country, transgender legal issues—and the multi-dimensionality of transgender lives—are gaining unprecedented visibility.  The 2016 Transgender Law Institute is focused on strengthening the dynamic connections between transgender law and legal movements addressing religion, race, gender, disability, and other issues.  This year’s TLI seeks to deepen inter-organizational relationships and cross-movement connections, while examining the latest legal developments affecting transgender people.  Presenters include leading attorneys and advocates from the transgender, disability, civil rights, and women’s rights movements.  Discussion will focus both on the current priorities of these movements and how transgender advocacy connects and intersects with that of different communities.  The Institute will also highlight the recent, cutting edge changes leading to inclusion of transgender service members in the military.

Opening Plenary 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Speakers: Seth Marnin, the Anti-Defamation League’s Vice President of Civil Rights; Dena Sher, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State; Jinny Kim, Asian American Justice; Suhag Shukla, Hindu American Foundation; Brenda Abdelall, Muslim Advocates; Candace Gibson, Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; Professor Norrinda Hayat, UDC Law School

Seth will present opening remarks on the intersections between transgender advocacy and other civil rights movements. Leaders from other civil rights organizations will highlight priorities and respond to questions about how the transgender community can support the work of other organizations and how our community’s work intersects with that of other groups.


Transgender People in the Military 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Speakers: Aaron Belkin, The Palm Center

Aaron will speak about recent changes to the military policy and the inclusion of transgender services member.


Lunch Presentation 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Speakers: Marisa Richmond Ph.D, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition 

Marisa Richmond will talk about her experience on the ground this past year in Tennessee, whose legislature has been called the most conservative in the country, working in multi-issue coalitions seeking to fight back against dozens of Tennessee bills targeting LGBT people, immigrants, and reproductive rights.


Afternoon Plenary and Panel on Developments in Sex Discrimination Laws 1:00 p.m. -2:30 p.m.
Speakers: Sharon McGowan, Deputy Chief in the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; Maya Rupert, Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Joshua Block, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT Rights Project; Kelli Garcia, Senior Counsel, National Women’s Law Center; Iliana Konidaris, Staff Attorney, Legal Momentum

Sharon will present opening remarks.  Discussants will include attorneys from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, national women’s organizations, the ACLU, and others whose work has led to significant developments for transgender people under federal sex discrimination laws.


Disability Law 2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Speakers: Noah Lewis, Transcend Legal; Anupa Lyer, EEOC; Rebecca Cokley, Executive Director, National Council on Disability; Ma’ayan Anafi, National Center for Transgender Equality; Leon Barnett, Association of University Centers on Disabilities; Victoria Rodriguez, National LGBTQ Task Force

Disability laws have sometimes included and sometimes excluded transgender people from protection.  This panel will feature disability advocates who will discuss the priorities of their organizations’ work.  It will also address the ways in which the transgender community can support the work of the disability community and dive deeply into questions about how work to address exclusions for transgender people intersects with the work of the broader movement.


Next steps 4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Speakers: Judge Phyllis Frye, Houston, Texas; Kylar Broadus, Transgender People of Color Coalition; Marisa Richmond, Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition; Dru Levasseur, Lambda Legal; Chinyere Ezie, Southern Poverty Law Center

This closing session will identify next steps to strengthen the connections between transgender advocates and allies and other legal movements.


An ASL Interpreter will be available at all times during this event.

Anyone for whom the cost of registration for the Institute is a barrier to joining should respond to Jennifer Levi (  Scholarships are available.  Please forward this information to anyone you think would be interested or who could benefit from attending.