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Professor Jennifer Levi Receives ABA Stonewall Award for Pioneering Work on Transgender Rights

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2018 - 11:45 AM All News , Law
  • Mark Johnson Roberts, Chair of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; Stonewall Award 2018 Recipients: Jennifer Levi, Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law and Director of GLAD Transgender Rights Project; Eduardo Juarez, Supervisory Trial Attorney Equal Employment Opportunity Commission San Antonio Field Office; Phyllis Randolph Frye, Associate Judge Municipal Courts Houston; and ABA President Hilarie Bass. Photo courtesy of Powell Photography, Inc.

Jennifer Levi, professor of law and director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights project, was recently honored with the prestigious American Bar Association Stonewall Award for her pioneering work on transgender rights, including precedent-setting LGBTQ cases, scholarship, and teaching.

“Jennifer Levi is the principle architect of the legal arguments and approaches that have moved the transgender rights movement into the forefront of legal thinking about civil rights protections for LGBT people,” said Mark Johnson Roberts, chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI).

The Stonewall Award recognizes lawyers who have considerably advanced lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the legal profession and successfully championed LGBTQ legal causes. Levi was among three recipients honored at the ABA midyear meeting in Vancouver February 3.

Professor Levi is a key contributor to the School of Law’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies. She coedited Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book to address legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context.

Levi has spoken widely on her active role in litigating precedent-setting cases establishing basic rights for LGBTQ people, including the right of same sex couples to marry, a transgender student’s right to attend school, and the recent efforts to ban transgender people from serving in the military. She serves on the Legal Committee of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and is a founding member of both the Transgender Law & Policy Institute and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.

“The ABA and the SOGI Commission have taken tremendous leadership in advocacy for LGBTQ people across a range of issues,” says Levi. “To receive this level of recognition from the nation’s premier legal organization means a tremendous amount to me. I am humbled by this honor.”

In November 2017, the State of Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities honored Professor Levi with the Constance Baker Motley Award for Excellence in Business or Law. She was also recently featured in the January 2018 issue of Trial Magazine.

Watch a video of Levi speaking about her work.