Kara Ingelhart

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Kara Ingelhart is a Law Fellow in the Midwest Regional Office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and individuals living with HIV, where she previously served as a Skadden Fellow. The Skadden Fellowship Program, described as "a legal Peace Corps" by The Los Angeles Times, was established in 1988 to commemorate the firm's 40th anniversary, in recognition of the dire need for greater funding for graduating law students who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services to the poor (including the working poor), the elderly, the homeless and the disabled, as well as those deprived of their civil or human rights. The aim of the foundation is to give fellows the freedom to pursue public interest work; thus, the fellows create their own projects at public interest organizations. Ingelhart’s project addressed the barriers to housing, employment, and education for low-income LGBTQ youth, with an emphasis on youth who are juvenile or criminal system involved. 

Ingelhart has played an instrumental role in advancing the rights of LGBT people under federal civil rights laws. She was co-counsel in Evancho v. Pine-Richland School District, where a court held that the equal protection guarantee protects transgender students from discrimination in schools (including bathrooms). She has also served as co-counsel in Lambda Legal’s litigation to ensure access to accurate birth certificates for transgender people in every state across the nation, achieving victories in Idaho in F.V. v. Barron, where the court held that discrimination based on transgender status violated equal protection guarantees, and in Puerto Rico in Arroyo v. Rosselló, where the Court found that “the forced disclosure of plaintiffs’ transgender status violated their fundamental right to informational privacy.” She is also lead counsel in Ray v. Himes, a suit brought on behalf of transgender people born in Ohio who have also been denied accurate birth certificates with accurate gender markers. In addition to her work as a litigator, Ingelhart has contributed to federal and state legislative and policy efforts concerning the inclusion of protections for LGBT people and people living with HIV who are involved in the federal criminal legal system.

Recognized as an emerging leader and passionate advocate for the civil rights of LGBT people, Ingelhart has spoken at some of America’s leading law schools, including Northwestern and Notre Dame, and national advocacy conferences on criminalization of LGBT people and people living with HIV and the intersectionality of race, poverty, HIV, and LGBT issues. She has been recognized as one of 2016’s 30 Under 30 best and brightest individuals in Chicago’s LGBTQ Community by the Windy City Times.

Ingelhart graduated from The University of Chicago Law School, where she was president of Outlaw and vice president of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Gender Studies from Indiana University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors.

Ingelhart is a member of the Illinois bar.