TLDEF Announces Jennifer Michelle Chavez Summer Legal Fellowship


TLDEF Announces Jennifer Michelle Chavez Summer Legal Fellowship

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund announces the establishment of the Jennifer Michelle Chavez Summer Legal Fellowship, named in honor of pioneering transgender rights advocate Jennifer Chavez. Ms.Chavez is a Latina transgender woman, automotive technician, and pioneering transgender rights advocate in Georgia.

In 2009, Ms. Chavez transitioned on the job in an automotive shop. Despite being the best technician in her shop, Ms. Chavez was taunted by her coworkers, unfairly disciplined by management, and ultimately terminated under suspicious circumstances in early 2010. She ultimately received a landmark ruling in her favor from the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Starting in Summer 2017, TLDEF’s summer legal interns will be named as Jennifer Michelle Chavez Law Fellows in honor of Ms. Chavez’ tireless advocacy, grit, vision, and personal sacrifices made to further transgender rights around the nation.

Jennifer Michelle Chavez Law Fellows are paired with attorneys in TLDEF’s Impact Litigation Program. Each summer, the Jennifer Chavez Law Fellows are to be assigned real substantive work aimed at advancing transgender rights in the United States. 

Mr. Harris R. Mason will serve as the inaugural Chavez Legal Fellow. Mr. Mason is from Ringgold, Georgia and is a law student at the University of Georgia School of Law. He spent last summer at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society where he facilitated a partnership between their Health Law Unit and a local HIV/AIDS clinic to better serve the Metro Atlanta transgender population that lives with or is affected by HIV/AIDS. 

Click here to learn more about Jennifer Michelle Chavez.