Lowenstein Sandler has been named Pro Bono Partner of the Year by the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF).

TLDEF is a national organization committed to ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression, and to achieving equality for transgender people. The firm partnered with the organization in 2015 to launch the Name Change Project in New Jersey, a program that provides pro bono services to low-income transgender individuals seeking a legal name change. A lack of appropriate identity documents can deter people from applying for jobs, school, and public benefits, and can lead to discrimination.

Firm lawyers and staff have supported the project by representing dozens of clients in their legal name change proceedings. In addition to obtaining court-ordered name changes, Lowenstein has helped clients navigate various governmental agencies to obtain new identity documents with names and gender markers that reflect their lived experience.

“Lowenstein Sandler is proud to be part of a project that has such positive and life-changing impact on so many individuals, and we are delighted to be recognized by TLDEF as Pro Bono Partner of the Year,” said Natalie J. Kraner, Senior Public Interest Counsel with Lowenstein’s Center for the Public Interest. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with TLDEF as we work together to end discrimination and achieve equality for transgender people.”

“Going to Court to obtain a legal name change can be a challenging experience,” said Lowenstein’s Matthew P. Hintz, who has represented five clients through the Name Change Project. “We are grateful for the opportunity to help our clients secure the documentation necessary to apply for the jobs, schools, and benefits they deserve, and we are thrilled that our clients can live better lives as a result of our work.”

Lowenstein Sandler joins a distinguished list of leading law firms previously honored with TLDEF’s Pro Bono Partner of the Year Award, including Davis Polk & Wardwell, Gibson Dunn, Kirkland & Ellis, Sullivan & Cromwell, and Arnold & Porter.

The award was presented on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at this year’s Trans Advocacy Awards, TLDEF’s signature event that raises critical awareness and support for its work to advance equality for transgender and nonbinary people nationwide. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, and TLDEF commemorated the milestone by producing a truly special event that celebrated its progress, spotlighted community heroes, and raised vital funds to sustain and grow the organization’s work.