Name Change Project
TLDEF's Name Change Project provides pro bono legal name change services to low-income transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people through partnerships with some of the nation’s most prestigious law firms and corporate law departments.
For many transgender people, securing a legal name change is an important step toward making their legal identities match their lived experience.
A lack of appropriate identity documents can deter people from applying for jobs, school, and public benefits, and can lead to discrimination. But securing a legal name change can be a challenging experience, involving interaction with the court system and judges that is foreign to many people.
By providing transgender people with legal representation, we work to ensure that people successfully complete the process and move forward with their lives.
At this time, we are only accepting applications from residents of the five boroughs of New York City.
The waitlist for other Name Change Project service areas is temporarily closed while we address an overwhelming backlog due, in large part, to the ongoing pandemic, court closures, and technology bottlenecks. Please see below for more details.
If you live in one of the areas below, you can fill out our waitlist notification form, and you will receive an e-mail when our waitlist for your area re-opens:
- Atlanta, GA - Cherokee, Cobb, Dekalb, Forsyth, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties
Chicago, IL - Cook County
Detroit, MI - Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw Counties
Long Island - Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee County
New Jersey - Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Union, and Middlesex Counties
Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia County
Pittsburgh, PA - Allegheny County
Do you want us to help you with a court-ordered name change? This is how our process works:
Step 1: Complete our name change intake form.
All initial requests for name change assistance must be submitted via our online intake form below. A member of our team will review the intake form and respond via email on a first come, first served basis.
Step 2: TLDEF determines whether you meet criteria for assistance.
We cannot help everyone who contacts us. Once we have evaluated your initial intake form, there are three possible responses:
Unfortunately, we are unable to help everyone who asks for our help. If we determine that you are not eligible, we will let you know via email.
- Information Request
If information is missing from an intake form or we require additional information to determine eligibility, a staffer will reach out to you via email to gather more information so that we can determine eligibility.
- Scheduling Intake
Eligible applicants must complete a phone intake. These phone intakes are conducted by TLDEF staffers, and are confidential.
Note that completion of the intake process does not guarantee representation.
Step 3: Referral to attorney.
If an applicant is deemed eligible for representation, the person will be placed on a waiting list for referral to an attorney for name change representation.
TLDEF does not directly represent transgender, gender nonconforming, and non-binary people seeking legal name changes. Rather, TLDEF partners with law firms and legal departments at corporations, who take on the representation of TLDEF-referred participants in the Name Change Project. Once a referral takes place, TLDEF’s Name Change Project services are complete.
Please contact us at the Name Change Project with any questions.
The Name Change Project is also made possible by the generous pro bono support of:
- Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
- Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP
- Cooley LLP
- Cordes Law PLLC
- Covington & Burling LLP
- Cozen O'Connor P.C.
- Davis & Gilbert LLP
- Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
- Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
- DLA Piper (US) LLP
- Duane Morris
- Dykema Gossett PLLC
- McCarter & English
- McGuireWoods LLP
- McNerney & McAuliffe
- Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
- Miller, Canfield, Paddock, & Stone P.L.C.
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
- PECO Energy Co
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
- Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers, PC
- PNC Bank
- Proskauer Rose LLP
- PVH Corp.
- Shearman & Sterling LLP
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates
- Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP
- Standard Chartered
- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
- Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
- Swartz Campbell LLC
TLDEF New York City Name Change Project