Michael D. Silverman
Adjunct Professor of Law
Michael is Special Counsel at the New York City Commission on Human Rights. In 2003, he founded the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and became its Executive Director until 2016, when he joined the Commission on Human Rights. He has worked as attorney in the LGBT civil rights movement since 1994.
As a cooperating attorney with Lambda Legal, Michael worked on a number of groundbreaking cases, including Baehr v. Miike, one of the earliest challenges to restrictions on the freedom to marry, and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. In that case, Michael represented a coalition of religious organizations opposed to the Scouts’ exclusionary policy, and his brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court on their behalf was cited in the opinion of the dissenting justices. While on a Georgetown University Law Center Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship, Michael taught in the law school’s domestic violence clinic and worked in the legal department at NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Immediately prior to joining TLDEF, Michael worked for four years in New York Lawyers for the Public Interest’s Access to Health Care Program and Disability Law Center. In that capacity, he provided technical assistance to numerous community groups seeking to end discrimination in access to health care on the basis of race and ethnicity. He also successfully prosecuted large scale litigation in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice against hospitals for violations of, among other things, the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Michael is a graduate of Vassar College and The University of Michigan Law School.