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Alexander Chen

Lecturer on Law


Alexander Chen
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Alexander Chen is the Founding Director of the LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic at Harvard Law School, where he also teaches Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and the Law. His work focuses on expanding the rights of LGBTQ+ people through impact litigation and policy advocacy.

At Harvard, his cases include Amaya Cruz v. Miami-Dade County, a federal suit on behalf of three trans young people arrested while participating in Black Lives Matter protests and subjected to degrading treatment while jailed; Hersom v. Crouch, a constitutional challenge to West Virginia’s refusal to change trans people’s birth certificate gender markers; and Lopez v. NYC Department of Homeless Services, a settlement that secured landmark reforms in the New York City shelter system for trans and gender nonconforming residents. He is the 2023 recipient of the Harvard AAPI/APIDA Affinity Celebration Faculty Award.

Previously, Alexander worked at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where he helped litigate the trans military cases Doe v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump, the landmark Ninth Circuit trans prisoner surgery case Edmo v. Corizon, and co-drafted AB 2119, a bill that made California the first state to mandate access to gender-affirming care for trans foster youth.

Alexander attended Oxford University (B.A. 2009), Columbia University (M.A. 2012), and Harvard Law School (J.D. 2015), where he was the first openly trans editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked on the Ninth Circuit for the Hon. M. Margaret McKeown, and in the Southern District of California for the Hon. Gonzalo P. Curiel. Alexander has been named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Law & Policy, and one of the 40 Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBTQ Bar Association. He also co-founded the National Trans Bar Association and co-authored the Trans Youth Handbook.


  • J.D. Harvard Law School, 2015
  • M.A. English and Comparative Literature Columbia University, 2011
  • B.A. English Language and Literature University of Oxford, 2009