Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders is pleased to announce the addition of Staff Attorney Zack M. Paakkonen, who will focus his work on legal issues facing the transgender community as part of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. Paakkonen joins the legal team on September 3rd.

“With so much work still left to be done to secure legal and social equality for transgender people, Zack Paakkonen is a tremendous addition to our legal team,” said Legal Director Gary Buseck. “With his experience advocating on behalf of transgender clients inside and outside the courtroom, he’s ready to hit the ground running as GLAD continues its cutting-edge work on transgender legal issues.”

Paakkonen brings to GLAD significant experience advocating for the rights of transgender clients in a variety of contexts. In 2008, he and his law partner Alice Neal founded West End Legal, LLC, in Portland, Maine, a general practice firm focusing on the needs of the local LGBT community. Paakkonen’s work included representing transgender clients in matters of family law and other probate matters, advising clients regarding discrimination matters in school and employment, handling matters involving youth in a variety of contexts, and advocacy for transgender people within the penal system and within state government on public policy matters.

“While I’m proud of the work I’ve done for the transgender community in private practice, I’m excited about the opportunity GLAD gives me to have a broader impact on improving and expanding legal protections for the transgender community in New England and across the country,” said Paakkonen.

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