TLDEF to Honor Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Attorney Stefan Dann at Pro Bono Recognition Dinner Hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race Contestant Peppermint

NEW YORK – Today, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) announced the honorees for its Pro Bono Recognition Dinner to occur on September 13, 2022 at the Ascent Lounge in New York City. TLDEF will honor Willkie Farr & Gallagher and volunteer attorney Stefan Dann for their long-standing pro bono service in support of advancing legal equity for transgender people. The awards will be presented at a private reception and dinner hosted by Peppermint, a trailblazing actress, singer, DJ, and activist who was the first out transgender contestant on the award-winning reality competition series RuPaul’s Drag Race.

“We are excited to bring together our community of pro bono law firm partners and volunteer attorneys to honor both Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Stefan Dann for their deep and extensive commitment to advancing transgender equity nationwide,” said Andrea “Andy” Hong Marra, TLDEF’s Executive Director. “TLDEF’s work simply wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for our many partnerships with law firms and attorneys nationwide who join with us to create a world where transgender people are able to lead healthy and joyful lives free from discrimination.”

As TLDEF’s Pro Bono Partner of the Year, Willkie Farr & Gallagher has demonstrated its leadership by actively working to remove the many barriers facing transgender and non-binary people, particularly those seeking gender affirming health care and legal identification that aligns with their gender identity. In 2019 the law firm partnered with TLDEF to file its lawsuit Lange v. Houston County in which the judge ruled in early June that an employer cannot exclude or deny coverage for gender affirming care from its employee health insurance plan. The ruling is the first of its kind in the South. Willkie Farr & Gallagher joins a distinguished list of law firms previously honored for their pro bono contributions to the transgender community, including the law firms and corporate in-house counsel at Arnold & Porter, BNY Mellon, Chubb, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Gibson Dunn, Kirkland & Ellis, Lowenstein Sandler, and Sullivan & Cromwell.

Stefan Dann is the first volunteer attorney to be honored by TLDEF as Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for his extensive work on TLDEF’s Name Change Project. To date, Dann has worked on 174 name changes for transgender and non-binary people living in Western Pennsylvania where he has garnered frequent praise for his professionalism and compassion among Name Change Project participants assigned to his docket. Dann has also provided valuable counsel on Pennsylvania statutory law among other efforts. Dann recently joined the Corporate Group at Dentons as Partner in the Pittsburgh office.

Since TLDEF’s founding in 2003, pro bono partnerships remain a key aspect of TLDEF’s model to achieve lasting legal and policy gains for transgender people. TLDEF partners with some of the nation’s most prestigious law firms and in-house counsel at corporations on a range of legal and policy matters related to TLDEF’s legal programs, including the Impact Litigation Project, Name Change Project, and Trans Health Project. Approximately 66 pro bono partners donated 17,323 hours valued at $12,083,033 to directly support TLDEF’s transgender clients and participants in 2021. The total value of donated services reflects an almost $3.5MM increase from the prior year.

TLDEF is proud to partner with National Presenting Sponsor Gilead and National Platinum Sponsor Troutman Pepper, both of whom have shown a deep commitment to TLDEF’s mission of advancing equity and justice for transgender people nationwide.

TLDEF’s Pro Bono Recognition Dinner is a signature event, raising critical awareness and support for its life-changing legal advocacy efforts. The private reception and awards dinner are sponsored by Premier Sponsors Davis Polk & Wardwell, Paul Weiss, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Partner Sponsors Cleary Gottlieb, Kirkland & Ellis, Shearman & Sterling, and Skadden; and Advocate Sponsors Cadwalader, Kramer Levin, Latham & Watkins, and Reed Smith.

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) is a national legal advocacy organization that uses test-case litigation, direct legal services, public policy, and public education efforts to achieve lived and legal equality for transgender people and to end all discrimination based on gender identity and expression. To learn more, visit


Updated on Aug 26, 2022