Attorney Julia Sáenz runs the LGBT Rights Project at Empire Justice Center, a public interest law firm in downtown Rochester. This project provides free legal services to low-income LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) clients in Western and Central New York, with a focus on anti-discrimination and immigration cases. The legal landscape is constantly evolving with respect to this population, whether in the context of employment, education, health, or immigration, and advocates often find creative new ways to secure their clients’ rights. This presentation will focus on the legal protections available for these communities on a local, state, and federal level.
Julia Sáenz is the Hanna S. Cohn Equal Justice Fellow with the Domestic Violence and Family Law Unit in Empire Justice Center’s Rochester office. As part of the fellowship, Ms. Sáenz is spearheading her “LGBTQ Rights Project” in Rochester for the next two years, which includes community outreach, civil rights litigation, and legislative advocacy for low income LGBTQ clients. Ms. Sáenz graduated from New York University with a degree in social work and from Boston University School of Law (May 2013). At BU Law, she worked in the Civil Litigation Housing, Employment, Family & Disability Clinic and externed with the ACLU of Massachusetts. As a summer legal intern, Julia worked for the New York State Division of Human Rights in Albany and the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts in Boston. She also volunteered with the Black and Pink pen pal program for LGBTQ prisoners by processing letters and sending advocacy materials to prisons across the United States.