Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) in New York is inviting eligible candidates for its remote legal fellowship program.

Founded in 2003, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) is committed to ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender and gender non-conforming people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.

About the Opportunity

TLDEF seeks applications for sponsorship of an organized, adaptive, and motivated Legal Fellow to join its growing Legal Program. The fellowship is a one or two-year position that combines furthering TLDEF’s legal work and mission with learning the skills necessary for successful impact litigation and legal advocacy.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Participate in all phases of impact litigation as they arise in relevant cases during a fellowship year, including development and investigation, administrative matters, pleadings, motion practice, discovery, trials, appeals, and settlement negotiations.
  • Participate in all aspects of amicus briefing, including research, writing, and working with clients and pro bono partners.
  • Address intakes and participate in the investigation of new cases.
  • Assist the Transgender Health Project with research, drafting demand letters and negotiation documents, and advocacy materials.
  • Monitor federal and state legislation and rulemaking pertinent to potential litigation or advocacy.
  • Draft legal and policy resources for a range of audiences, including “Know Your Rights” content, template legal documents, legal memos, and advocacy materials.

Additional Duties

  • Assist the Development, Communications, and Public Education teams with their development of presentations, written materials, and other content.
  • Assist the Legal Program and support staff with developing and implementing new IT and administrative systems.
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Required Qualifications

  • A J.D. degree—or expected to receive a J.D. degree by spring of 2024—from an accredited U.S. law school.
  • Either a license to practice law or, for recent graduates, completion of the bar exam and pending admission application.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and analysis skills.
  • Ability to conceptualize and implement a fellowship project that addresses an unmet legal need and aligns with TLDEF’s mission and expertise.
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to issues impacting transgender, gender non-conforming, and nonbinary people.
  • Familiarity with the fundamental anti-discrimination and transgender rights statutes and legal precedents, including but not limited to federal statutory and constitutional guarantees.
  • Willingness to be part of a diverse movement with multiple leaders, and to represent and amplify the voices of communities that cross lines of gender identity and expression, race, class, ability, and immigration status.
  • Ability to think critically about intersectional and systemic issues, including but not limited to transphobia, racism, classism, ableism, and xenophobia.
  • Strong relationship-building skills with the ability to effectively partner with diverse stakeholders.
  • Commitment to remain positive, maintain discretion, and resolve conflict from a place of integrity, humility, and compassion. 
  • Ability to set priorities and juggle multiple deadlines.
  • Proficient in Microsoft applications, legal research tools, and internet research.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Fluency or proficiency in Spanish is a plus, but not required.


  • Compensation is pursuant to TLDEF’s collective bargaining agreement.
  • External funding is required, and any differential in compensation between fellowship funding and TLDEF’s minimum salary (likely $79,565.63 in 2024) will be covered by TLDEF.


  • TLDEF offers a robust benefits package that includes 100% employer-paid medical, vision, dental, and life insurance.
  • Employer contributions to spousal and dependent healthcare; employer contributions to 401(k) retirement plan.
  • Remote work stipends; access to gender-affirming healthcare pool; name change support.
  • 20 paid holidays.
  • 4 weeks of paid vacation; sick time; weekly wellness hours.
  • Healthcare flex spending account; pre-tax commuter benefits.
  • Professional development stipend.

How to Apply?

  • All fellowship submissions should be submitted through the link provided at the end of this post.
  • Please include a resume, a cover letter outlining the proposal that candidates seek to develop and the funders to whom they intend to present it, and a writing sample of no more than ten pages.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and TLDEF will contact those applicants whose proposals it seeks to proceed on. 



Click here to apply.