M. Dru Levasseur
M. Dru Levasseur is the Transgender Rights Project Director for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV. Levasseur leads Lambda Legal’s transgender rights work through impact litigation, advocacy and community education to advance the civil rights of transgender people nationwide.
Levasseur represented Robina Asti, a 92-year-old WWII veteran and flight instructor in a successful challenge to the Social Security Administration’s denial of her survivor’s benefits. Levasseur was lead counsel in McCreery v. Don’s Valley Market, which resulted in a landmark $50,000 settlement before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a transgender woman fired from her job as grocery clerk in a South Dakota market after she took steps to transition in the workplace. He was co-counsel in Esquivel v. Oregon, a case resulting in settlement removing discriminatory restrictions on transition-related health care for all transgender employees of the State of Oregon. He also served as co-counsel in Fields v. Smith, a federal case successfully challenging a Wisconsin law barring its Department of Corrections from providing medically necessary care to transgender inmates.
Prior to joining Lambda Legal, Levasseur was the first staff attorney for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, where he advocated for transgender equal rights through test-case litigation, public policy efforts, community organizing and public education. Prior to that, Levasseur served for two years as law clerk to 12 Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court.
Levasseur is the Co-Founder and Vice-President of the Jim Collins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money to fund gender-confirming surgeries. He is a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and served as chair of the WPATH Legal Issues Committee from 2010 to 2013. He is a former member of the City Bar of New York’s LGBT Rights Committee, LeGaL’s Foundation Board, and co-chair of the National LGBT Bar’s Transgender Law Institute. Levasseur is a Fellow of Rockwood Leadership Institute’s 2012 LGBTQ Advocacy Program.
Levasseur’s work has been recognized with the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition’s Community Service Award (2014); the Brooklyn Law School OUTLaws Distinguished Community Service Award (2014); the City Bar of New York’s Art Leonard Pride Award (2013); and the National LGBT Bar Association’s Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 (2011). In 2013, Levasseur was named as a member of the inaugural Trans 100, a list of “100 people who are actively doing serious, difficult work that is too often overlooked, too often ignored.” He received his bachelor's degree magna cum laude in Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies from the University of Massachusetts, and his law degree from Western New England University School of Law. He is a member of the New York Bar.