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Navigating Queer and Trans Identities in the Legal Profession – Your Authenticity Is Your Power: A discussion with Wasserstein Fellow M. Dru Levasseur

January 20 @ 12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

Even though data shows that diversity is good for business and that people are at their best when they can bring their full selves to work, the legal profession is not there yet. Lawyers with underrepresented identities face incredible obstacles no matter what career path they choose. But, it is possible to build a successful and fulfilling career where your authenticity becomes your power, and where your presence and contribution makes space for those who will come after you. Dru will discuss the power and pitfalls of employing one’s own identity as a force for change in the legal profession.

Sponsored by OPIA and First Class

Dru Levasseur is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association. As a leading figure in the LGBTQ+ equality movement for 25 years, 15 of which in the legal profession, Dru has extensive experience in law, advocacy, philanthropy, and community organizing. He leads the LGBTQ+ Bar’s DEI Consulting Practice, Lavender Law 365®, the only LGBTQ+ inclusion coaching and consulting program designed specifically to enable the implementation of best practice standards for LGBTQ+ equity across law firms, law schools, and companies.

Previously, Dru was Senior Attorney and Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal, the nation’s oldest and largest legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and people living with HIV. From 2009 to 2019, a critical time in history for advancing the civil rights of transgender people, Dru led Lambda Legal’s transgender rights work through strategy development, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. He served as counsel in landmark impact litigation cases and amicus briefs in federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Dru was the first staff attorney at Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, and before that, served as a law clerk in the Massachusetts Superior Court. In 2007, Dru co-founded the Jim Collins Foundation, a trans-led national nonprofit that funds surgeries for transgender people in need, funding twenty surgeries in ten years. He continues to serve as a working group member for Grantmakers United for Trans Communities. Dru also serves on the boards of the ERA Coalition and Fund for Women’s Equality.

The Wasserstein Public Interest Fellows Program brings outstanding public interest attorneys to Harvard Law School to counsel students about public service. The program recognizes exemplary lawyers who have distinguished themselves in public interest work and who can advise students who are considering similar career paths. All students are welcome and encouraged to learn more and meet one on one with our Wasserstein Fellows.

Register to attend. Open to members of the Harvard community.

If you or an event participant requires disability-related accommodations, please contact HLS Accessibility Services at accessibility@law.harvard.edu two weeks in advance of the event.

Details

Date:
January 20
Time:
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Website:
https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0lf-yqqz4rHtE5AjS1yBe1CynOaBWQPvSd
Department:
Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising

Venue

Virtual via Zoom

Organizer

OPIA
Email:
opia@law.harvard.edu