- September 4, 2015
By Andrea Zekis, HRC Consultant and ArTEC Director
Earlier this summer, 27 people converged on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law to meet with attorneys at Arkansas’s first transgender legal clinic. In the end, 11 attorneys wrote up 43 notarized documents ready to file, including 25 name changes and 10 gender changes.
HRC Arkansas was a primary supporter of these clinics and is co-sponsoring additional clinics planned in Arkansas as well.
In addition Transgender Equality Coalition (ArTEC), the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and VOCALS worked together to create the clinic, which provided free legal advice and fee waivers. ArTEC has also pledged to continue assisting those who attended the clinic, should they encounter any difficulties when filing their documents in their respective counties.
The work of numerous people around the state and country made this clinic possible. Thanks to Arkansas Access to Justice Commission Executive Director Amy Johnson and Arkansas Pro Bono Partnership Director Vince Morris, who led the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) training, as well as Michael Lauro of Lauro Law, who has been a long-time advocate on behalf of the transgender community.
Gratitude is also due to Arli Christian of the National Center of Transgender Equality, the team of attorneys at Squire Patton Boggs, the Advisory Council of the Trans Legal Services Network and HRC attorney, Allison Gill, all of whom provided legal input on the clinic's guidebook.