Louisville Law alumni and students operate pro-bono name change clinic
Students and alumni from Louis D. Brandeis School of Law are operating the first Lou Name Clinic on Saturday June 25th between 1 and 4 pm at the offices of The Louisville Pride Foundation. With support from Dinsmore & Shohl, the Lamda Law Caucus, and the UofL School of Law. The clinic’s focus is assisting people who need to change their name legally, a service helping align transgender folks’ legal name with their identities.
Dinsmore Associate Suzy Marino (Magna cum laude, ’20), is behind the creation of the clinic. Seeing a social media post from Brian Fields (Class of ‘22) about a name change clinic in North Carolina, she searched for something similar locally. Seeing nothing comparable, she brought the idea to Dinsmore partner John E. Selent as a pro-bono project. “Dinsmore is very supportive. The firm assisted with our marketing materials and allowed me and my organizing partner Grant Grissom the freedom we need to make this happen.”
Enthusiastic to bring more people onto the project, Marino used her Brandeis connections at the Lamda Law Caucus, to bring in Fields and two current students, Caitlin Grimes and Abigail Kenyon.
Grimes is enthusiastic about the good that they can do. “We hope to help guide people through a huge personal step in the reclamation of self-identity that many believed would never happen for them,” she said.
Fields is quick to point out how important a name change is for daily life. “Public benefits, prescriptions filled, airline travel, employment: these are just some everyday situations where someone might have to grapple with a difference between what their legal documents say and how they identify. No one should have to justify their name and gender every time they show a government-issued ID card.”
Kenyon agreed and added “If we want trans people to feel proud saying their names and being who they are, then we have a responsibility to be an active part of changing things.”
The aim is to help people with a need and hope the clinic can provide the services they need. “We want to support trans folks in a meaningful way”, Marino concluded, “and we’re glad to be able to use our legal skills to do so.”
THE LOU NAME CLINIC
June 25, 2022 from 1:00-4:00 PM
Louisville Pride Foundation
Third Floor (accessible via ramp and elevator)
1244 South Third Street
Louisville, KY 40203