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Outserve-SLDN Expands Legal Services Department in Anticipation of Greater Need in 2017 and Beyond

Friday, April 28, 2017   (0 Comments)

 

Outserve-SLDN Expands Legal Services Department in

Anticipation of Greater Need in 2017 and Beyond

New Staff Hire and New Open Position Signal Renewed Focus on Core Mission of the Nation’s Largest LGBT Military Legal & Advocacy Organization

 

Today, OutServe-SLDN announcing the hiring of a new staff member for the legal services department and the creation of a new staff attorney position that will vastly expand the ability and scope of work that OutServe-SLDN can accomplish.

 SLDN was founded in 1993 to provide legal services for service members being discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Since repeal in 2011 we have expanded and modified our work to include service members, veterans and their families.

Today we are expanding our capabilities to ensure we have the resources to respond to the growing threats to open service, the increase in discrimination and restoring the honor of service members discharged under DADT and the prior ban that we see every day – more than 80 cases this year alone. The addition of new staff and the expansion of our mandate through strategic collaborations are a signal that we will not retreat from our mission to protect and defend the LGBT servicemembers, veterans and their families who protect and defend our nation each and every day. 

Our new OutServe-SLDN staff member is Felipe Rendon. Felipe started this month as Legal & Policy Associate. Felipe joins Legal Director Peter Perkowski and Legal & Policy Manager Andy Blevins on the expanded Legal Services team. Felipe completed his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government at New York University (NYU) in 2011. There, he was active in Latinos Unidos Con Honor y Amistad, a student organization that strives to unify, educate and empower Latinos within NYU as well as their communities. Felipe was accepted into Willamette University School of Law in 2015 where he spent his first year as a full-time Child Advocacy Paralegal for the Oregon Department of Justice. He previously clerked at the Public Defender’s office in Dallas, Oregon.


(Felipe with his wife Jeannie. Jeannie served in the Air Force at Hurlburt Field in Florida)

Felipe is now a student at Willamette and has become one of the most active student leaders on campus. He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Willamette University Law Journal of Social Justice and Equity, which he established to “give a voice” to those Oregonians who are engaged in legal and academic work surrounding social justice issues. In addition to his work with the Journal, Felipe is also an active member of the Hispanic Law Association which advocates for higher education in the Latino community and will be President of the organization starting next fall. In April of 2017, Felipe became the first Daniel P. Santos Scholar at his law school, in recognition of his academic and extracurricular efforts surrounding public interest and social justice.

With Felipe joining the team, OutServe-SLDN is also announcing an expansion of the legal services department to include the hiring of a new staff attorney before the end of 2017. The new position will be posted shortly at www.outserve-sldn.org/jobsinternships and resumes will be accepted until the position is filled.

Despite all of our remarkable progress, our work is not done. We know that the current political climate means we must redouble our efforts to continue our role as the leading legal & advocacy organization for the LGBT military community. We’re committed to building the resources required to ensure we can be there to advocate for any LGBT service member, veteran or family who needs our assistance.

In the coming months, OutServe-SLDN will also announce the addition of several new pro bono legal partners, an expansion that will allow the organization to provide counsel on a wider set of challenges that impact the LGBT military community now more than ever before.

We look forward to keeping you updated on our growth over the next several weeks and months. Most importantly we will keep fighting for you.


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