The National Center for Lesbian Rights Expands Legal Program

Addition of Federal Policy Attorney Position Extends Organization’s National Reach

Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights announced that it is adding a newly created position, federal policy attorney, to its national legal team. NCLR’s new attorney, Maya R. Rupert, will be based in the Eastern Regional Office in Washington, D.C. where she will focus efforts on the federal and state levels to end discrimination and to ensure equality under the law.

“This is a critical time for the LGBT community on a federal level, as we face unprecedented legal challenges and opportunities across a tremendous array of issues from employment discrimination to immigration and asylum to relationship and family recognition,” said NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Since our founding in 1977, NCLR has played an increasingly visible national role in pioneering new legal strategies and policy initiatives to advocate for the most vulnerable members of our community. We are excited to amplify our role in the federal arena, and Maya is a perfect fit for this position.”

Before joining NCLR, Rupert was an associate with Sidley Austin LLP’s Los Angeles office, where she served as public interest fellow with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. She has also continued to participate in other pro bono efforts to the present time. She is a current columnist with the L.A. Watts Times, where she writes on issues of race, gender, and politics. Rupert clerked for the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She graduated in 2006 from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she was editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice and a notes and comments editor of the African American Law and Policy Report. Prior to attending law school, she worked as the program director for the International Bill of Rights Project. Additionally, she served as the research assistant with the Michael D. Palm Center, a research institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara, which promotes the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the armed forces.

In her role as NCLR’s attorney for federal policy, Rupert will work to carry out NCLR’s mission to advance the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Ms. Rupert started work on May 1.

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