Staff

Patricia Harrington, Intake Coordinator

Patricia is a native New Yorker. After graduating from Queens College with a B.A. in Physics and Mathematics, she had a twenty year career as a programmer and medical physicist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She entered Pace Law School in 2006. During the summer of her first year she interned with the Westchester County Law Department assisting child abuse and neglect attorneys in Family Court. At Pace, she was active in the Public Interest Scholarship Organization, Lambda Law Students, and the Women’s Association of Law Students. Prior to entering law school, Patricia spent a year as a volunteer tutor at the Hetrick-Martin Institute. She is committed to eliminating the discriminatory obstacles facing transgender people in daily life.  In her spare time she works on her personal animation projects.

Click to contact Patricia.

Adam Herpolsheimer, Legal Intern

Adam was born in Wichita, Kansas and moved to the Northeast for law school. They attend Rutgers Law School and live in Newark, walking distance from the campus and just a short train ride away from TLDEF's Manhattan office. As a Center for Gender & Sexuality Law & Policy Fellow at Rutgers law school, Adam is dedicated to legal work in all facets of gender equality and social justice.

Pairing with volunteer lawyers from around the tri-state area, Adam is student coordinator for the Newark LGBT Pro Bono Assistance Clinic. The clinic serves an under-represented population of the north Jersey community, giving LGBT individuals information on their legal issues.

Adam is set to graduate from Rutgers in May of 2018, and continues to explore new and impactful ways in which to spread consciousness within the legal framework.

Click to contact Adam.

Noah E. Lewis, Staff Attorney

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Noah has worked as TLDEF’s Staff Attorney for five years. Noah works on leading-edge cases such as helping Coy Mathis win the right to use the girl’s bathroom at school and successfully eliminating the requirement that people undergo surgery in order to correct the sex on a NYC birth certificate. His policy work includes achieving NY State birth certificate modernization and helping to eliminate the NY Medicaid ban on transgender health care. Noah also provides training and legal support for the volunteer attorneys participating in the Name Change Project.

Noah frequently speaks and provides trainings on transgender issues. His writings include “Sex and the Body: A 21st-Century Understanding of Trans People” in Gender, Sex, and Politics: In the Streets and Between the Sheets in the 21st Century.

A Pittsburgh native, Noah graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in the history and philosophy of science. Noah was the first openly trans student to graduate from Harvard Law School. There he received the Dean's Award for Community Leadership and worked successfully to eliminate transgender health exclusions from student and staff health plans.

Noah has also worked at Transgender Law Center, the National LGBTQ Task Force and in private practice. Prior to joining TLDEF, Noah worked in animal advocacy. He is a long-time vegan.

Click to contact Noah.

Rita Renner, Bookkeeper

Rita is TLDEF’s bookkeeper.  She also works as a bookkeeper for other non-profit organizations and teaches QuickBooks.  Prior to joining TLDEF, she was in charge of accounts payable and payroll for the town of Darien, CT and then used her masters degree in music education to teach.  She taught band and orchestra for over ten years before playing the trombone for national Broadway tours and on cruise ships.  Rita settled in New York City in 2000 and has been performing as both an instrumentalist and actor.  She is a past president of Crossdressers International and is an avid supporter of TLDEF.

Samuel Rosh, Legal Intern

Sammy is a native New Yorker from Bayside, Queens. He graduated from Hunter College High School and Wesleyan University, majoring in the College of Social Studies and Economics. He has completed his first year at Columbia Law School and expects to graduate in 2018. He is passionate about advancing the rights of LGBT people. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction and biographies.


Click to contact Sammy.

Charles Russak, Legal Intern

Charlie is a native of Westfield, New Jersey and is a graduate of Ithaca College, where he obtained a B.A. in history. After a year working for an Americorps program where he served in a Philadelphia k-8 school, Charlie made the decision to attend law school. He is currently enrolled at Columbia Law School in New York City, where he volunteers as a teacher for the High School Law Institute and is involved in various other campus groups. Charlie is set to graduate from Columbia Law School in 2018. Charlie is passionate about social justice and seeks to use the law in positive and meaningful ways to improve the lives of others. He also enjoys Chinese food, naps, and a good book.

Click to contact Charlie.

Michael D. Silverman, Executive Director

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Michael has been TLDEF's Executive Director since it was founded.  He has worked as an attorney in the LGBT civil rights movement since 1994.  In addition to his work at TLDEF, Michael is Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law, where he teaches courses on gender, sexuality and the law.

As a cooperating attorney with Lambda Legal, Michael worked on a number of groundbreaking cases, including Baehr v. Miike, one of the earliest challenges to restrictions on the freedom to marry, and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale.  In that case, Michael represented a coalition of religious organizations opposed to the Scouts’ exclusionary policy, and his brief  (cover, tables, brief) submitted to the United States Supreme Court on their behalf was cited in the opinion of the dissenting justices.  While on a Georgetown University Law Center Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship, Michael taught in the law school’s domestic violence clinic and worked in the legal department at NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Immediately prior to joining TLDEF, Michael worked for four years in New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Access to Health Care Program and Disability Law Center.  In that capacity, he provided technical assistance to numerous community groups seeking to end discrimination in access to health care on the basis of race and ethnicity.  He also successfully prosecuted large scale litigation in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice against hospitals for violations of, among other things, the Americans With Disabilities Act.  He is thrilled to be back in the movement for transgender equality.

Michael is a graduate of Vassar College and The University of Michigan Law School.

Click to contact Michael.