Boston, MA. Nixon Peabody LLP will be honored by the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) with a 2023 Beacon of Justice Award, recognizing firms that have demonstrated a commitment to intentional inclusivity and intersectionality with their LGBTQ+ rights, gender equity, and racial equity work.
Nixon Peabody is receiving the award for its pro bono work challenging laws in Iowa and Montana that threaten the constitutional rights of transgender people. In Iowa, the firm represents two transgender women whose gender-affirming surgeries were denied by Medicare. In conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa, the firm earned a pivotal win when a trial court struck down the law as a violation of the Iowa Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, allowing those women to receive coverage. The case is currently before the Iowa Supreme Court, where a ruling on constitutionality would permanently invalidate the law.
In Montana, the firm secured a preliminary injunction blocking SB 280, a state law making gender-affirming surgery a prerequisite for transgender Montanans looking to amend their birth certificates to align with their gender identity. The state has since adopted a ban on birth certificate amendments made by transgender people. Nixon Peabody, in conjunction with the ACLU of Montana, is working to overturn that ban.
Nixon Peabody is also being recognized for its work representing domestic violence survivors. In central New Hampshire, the firm provides outside counsel to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence on behalf of survivors who are facing HIPAA violations and helps to oppose bail for their alleged abusers. The firm is also helping the Black Women’s Blueprint—a nonprofit organization supporting survivors of sexual violence—to secure approvals for the construction of the Restore Forward Retreat Center in the town of Ava, New York.
“Nixon Peabody is proud to be at the forefront of the fight for gender and racial equity,” said Nixon Peabody Pro Bono Partner Matthew Richards, who oversees the law firm’s pro bono program. “This recognition is a reminder of our mission to create positive impact in our communities, especially for those who have been historically overlooked by our justice system.”
The firm will receive the award at the 2023 NLADA Exemplar Awards Gala on June 8th. Click here to learn more about Nixon Peabody’s Social Impact and Pro Bono programs.