Nothing About Us Without Us in the Fight for Social Justice and Liberation
Advocacy is at its best when it's driven by the people it will have the biggest impact on, with the help of others who have a deep and personal understanding of what it means to them. In working to defend the rights of individual people and bring about broader change, I rely on both my knowledge and experience as an attorney and my perspective as a proud member of the disability and LGBTQ+ communities. As my client, you'll be more than a passive recipient of legal services -- you'll be a partner in protecting our freedoms, seeking accountability for abuse, and building a world where no one else will face the same injustices.
9 1/2 Market Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Areas of Practice
CIVIL COMMITMENT DEFENSE
Control over one's own life is a critical part of mental health, and fear of or trauma from involuntary hospitalization can scare people away from seeking the treatment they might otherwise want. I fight fiercely for people facing commitment to a mental health facility to enable them to return to their communities to seek support on their own terms.
NAME CHANGES & GENDER RECOGNITION
Having identification documents that reflect a person's true identity is a key part of living authentically for many transgender people. It also helps in accessing the many things for which an ID is necessary and avoiding harassment. I assist individuals change their legal names and gender markers and, more broadly, advocate to ensure this option is available to all gender variant people.
Guardianship has been called "civil death" because of how it limits a person's basic human rights such as voting, marriage, and choosing where to live. I support the self-determination of all people with disabilities, and work to help clients establish alternative, consensual forms of support that will most effectively allow them to exercise it.
ABUSE & NEGLECT LITIGATION
Schools and treatment facilities are supposed to help the people within their walls. Far too often, though, they allow cultures of abuse to thrive with little to no meaningful oversight. I work with survivors and their loved ones to hold these institutions accountable in cases ranging from schools failing to protect students from bullying to staff physically abusing people with disabilities in residential programs.
TREATMENT ORDER DEFENSE
Bodily autonomy is possibly the most important right we have. Yet people with disabilities frequently lose this right, supposedly for their own good, through court orders for involuntary treatment. I advocate for people with disabilities in opposing petitions for court-ordered treatment, trusting in my clients to know what's right for their bodies and their lives.
Young people live under considerable restrictions, with the law in many cases prioritizing adults' rights and interests over their own. Among other things, they can be brought into court for being "stubborn," running away, or not attending school. In representing youth in Child Requiring Assistance cases, I strive to shift the focus from changing the child's behavior to fixing the situational problems they face.
If you're interested in having me represent you, you can fill out the form below. Your consultation is completely free, whether we discuss your issue in person, by phone, over Skype, or just through email, and everything you tell me is confidential.