Carly Calhoun, Legal Intern
Carly just finished her first year at the University of Alabama School of Law. Originally from Kennesaw, GA, she earned her undergraduate degree in social work from Georgia State University. During her undergraduate experience, she interned with the Atlanta Long Term Care Ombudsman Program investigating nursing homes and volunteered with a domestic violence resource center. Between college and law school, Carly worked in various settings in Frankfort, KY and Portland, OR, and volunteered as a visitor for people in hospice care. As a law student, she is active with the school’s Public Interest Institute, recently earning the Dean’s Community Service Award. She is also a member of both the law school’s student run LGBTQ organization, OUTlaw, and the University’s faculty, staff, and graduate student LGBTQ organization, Capstone Alliance. Carly’s goal is to work for LGBTQ equality with her law degree. In her spare time, she likes to snuggle up with her four rescue animals and her partner of four years and watch stand-up comedy.
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Patricia Harrington, Intake Coordinator
Patricia is a native New Yorker. After graduating from Queens College with a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics, she had a twenty year career as a programmer and medical physicist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She entered Pace Law School in 2006. During the summer of her first year she interned with the Westchester County Law Department assisting child abuse and neglect attorneys in Family Court. At Pace, she was active in the Public Interest Scholarship Organization, Lambda Law Students, and the Women’s Association of Law Students. Prior to entering law school, Patricia spent a year as a volunteer tutor at the Hetrick-Martin Institute. She is committed to eliminating the discriminatory obstacles facing transgender people in daily life. In her spare time she works on her personal animation projects.
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Rita Petite, Bookkeeper
Rita is TLDEF’s bookkeeper. She also works as a bookkeeper for other non-profit organizations and teaches QuickBooks. Prior to joining TLDEF, she was in charge of accounts payable and payroll for the town of Darien, CT and then used her masters degree in music education to teach. She taught band and orchestra for over ten years before playing the trombone for national Broadway tours and on cruise ships. Rita settled in New York City in 2000 and has been performing as both an instrumentalist and actor. She is a past president of Crossdressers International and is an avid supporter of TLDEF.
Ethan Rice, Staff Attorney
Ethan is a graduate of Florida State University College of Law. He was a child welfare attorney in Florida for four years before relocating to New York City. In law school, Ethan worked on behalf of children in the adult prison system, children in the foster care system, and children with disabilities. As a graduate fellow at FSU College of Law, Ethan researched and co-authored, Juvenile Life without Parole for Non-Homicide Offenses: Florida Compared to the Nation. The article was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida in its decision finding sentences of life without parole for juveniles unconstitutional when imposed for non-homicide crimes. He co-authored an amicus brief for Florida State University’s Children’s Advocacy Clinic in support of overturning Florida’s statutory ban on LGB individuals and couples adopting children in the case In re: Matter of Adoption of X.X.G and N.R.G. Ethan also has a B.A. in International Relations. Ethan spends much of his free time reading vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, obsessing over restaurant menus, and trying new recipes.
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Michael D. Silverman, Executive Director
Michael has been TLDEF's Executive Director since it was founded. He has worked as an attorney in the LGBT civil rights movement since 1994. In addition to his work at TLDEF, Michael is Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where he teaches courses on gender, sexuality and the law.
As a cooperating attorney with Lambda Legal, Michael worked on a number of groundbreaking cases, including Baehr v. Miike, one of the earliest challenges to restrictions on the freedom to marry, and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. In that case, Michael represented a coalition of religious organizations opposed to the Scouts’ exclusionary policy, and his brief (cover, tables, brief) submitted to the United States Supreme Court on their behalf was cited in the opinion of the dissenting justices. While on a Georgetown University Law Center Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship, Michael taught in the law school’s domestic violence clinic and worked in the legal department at NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Immediately prior to joining TLDEF, Michael worked for four years in New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Access to Health Care Program and Disability Law Center. In that capacity, he provided technical assistance to numerous community groups seeking to end discrimination in access to health care on the basis of race and ethnicity. He also successfully prosecuted large scale litigation in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice against hospitals for violations of, among other things, the Americans With Disabilities Act. He is thrilled to be back in the movement for transgender equality.
Michael is a graduate of Vassar College and The University of Michigan Law School.
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