(San Francisco, CA, November 28, 2011)—Two National Center for Lesbian Rights staff attorneys, Ilona Turner and Jody Marksamer, are moving to exciting new positions in January 2012.

Turner, who began working for NCLR in 2008, will join the Transgender Law Center as its new legal director, helping the San Francisco-based organization advance the rights and safety of the nation’s diverse transgender communities through litigation, public policy, and public education initiatives. Marksamer, NCLR’s Youth Project director, who is well known as a national expert on legal and policy issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, will be pursuing work in public criminal defense in Los Angeles.

Turner’s work at NCLR has focused on a broad range of issues from immigration to discrimination in employment and public accommodations to marriage and child custody. She came to NCLR from Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, a union-side labor law firm in New York City. Prior to attending law school, she worked as the lobbyist for Equality California, the statewide LGBTQ political organization. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Said Turner: “I decided to apply to law school because I was so inspired by NCLR’s legal team, and I still can’t quite believe the good fortune that has allowed me to work alongside these dedicated and brilliant lawyers. As I take on new challenges at the Transgender Law Center, I will continue, as always, to look to NCLR for inspiration and partnership.”

Marksamer joined NCLR in 2003 as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and oversees NCLR’s policy and advocacy work challenging the overrepresentation and disparate treatment of LGBTQ youth in child welfare and juvenile justice settings. In addition, he has led NCLR’s successful litigation challenging denials of appropriate health care for transgender women in prisons. He also coordinates the Equity Project, a collaborative project between NCLR, Legal Services for Children, and the National Juvenile Defender Center, working to ensure fairness and respect for LGBTQ youth in delinquency courts. He earned his law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.

“It has been a privilege to be a part of NCLR’s team over the last eight years,” said Marksamer. “I am grateful to my co-workers, the board, and our many collaborators in the field for their tremendous support, dedication, and hard work. I feel lucky to have been a part of such a talented committed and visionary team and will forever value the relationships I have made and our many accomplishments.”

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.www.NCLRights.org