July 22, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Minority Corporate Counsel Association Names Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project as Recipient of 2014 Paula L. Ettelbrick Award
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) has named Jennifer L. Levi, Esq., director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues, as the 2014 recipient of the esteemed Paula L. Ettelbrick Award. Ms. Levi will receive award at the MCCA Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference Opening Plenary on July 24, 2014 at the Washington Hilton.
The Paula L. Ettelbrick Award celebrates unparalleled achievement by an individual or an organization in advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attorneys. The award is named for the late Paula L. Ettelbrick whose quarter-century of work of organizations like Lambda Legal Defense and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission assisted thousands of individuals. Her career as an educator and mentor at institutions like New York University, Columbia University and the University of Michigan helped transform the national discussion regarding equality.
“Jennifer has shown remarkable grace and leadership in promoting transgender human rights in the field of law,” said MCCA President and CEO Joseph K. West. “Not only does the award honor Jennifer, but she honors the award itself through her unfettered passion and dedication.”
Ms. Levi is the director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project and a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues. She co-edited Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy, the first book to address legal issues facing transgender people in the family law context and provide practitioners the tools to effectively represent transgender clients.
She has served as counsel on a number of precedent-setting cases establishing basic rights for transgender people including: O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, which established that medical care relating to gender transition qualifies as a medical deduction for federal income tax purposes; Doe v. Yunits, in which she represented a transgender student denied the right to attend school because of the clothing she wore; and Adams v. Bureau of Prisons, which successfully challenged a federal prison policy excluding medical care for transgender inmates who came into the system without a transition-related medical plan, among many others. She also has worked on a number of high profile family law cases including the Miller-Jenkins case establishing full parental rights for a Vermont civil union spouse and cases in Connecticut and Massachusetts that established the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Ms. Levi is a law professor at Western New England University. 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.
She is a graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Chicago Law School and a former law clerk to Judge Michael Boudin at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
MCCA was founded in 1997 to advance the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA accomplishes its mission through publishing, research and training, pipeline initiatives and networking. MCCA’s work has been recognized with awards from the National Minority Business Council, Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National LGBT Bar, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. MCCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. For more information, go to mcca.com.