Nevada Legal Services (NLS), a nonprofit organization providing free legal assistance to low-income Nevadans, honored Ballard Spahr this week with its Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year Award. NLS noted the firm’s longstanding support for pro bono and legal services, and its role in spearheading a new project to represent transgender clients with birth certificate and name change matters.

Nevada Legal Services enlisted Bill Curran, Managing Partner of the firm’s Nevada office and President of NLS, to address the growing unmet legal needs of transgender clients. In response, Mr. Curran and Ballard Spahr formed a pro bono practice group that has accepted numerous referrals from Gender Justice of Nevada, a nonprofit devoted to supporting the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming Nevadans.

“Having a name that does not correspond to a person's gender identity is a huge problem for people in even the simplest aspects of everyday life, such as getting a driver's license or seeking employment,” said Mr. Curran. “I’m happy that we can help people with such a fundamentally important issue.”

Founded in 1981, NLS works in every county in Nevada. It provides legal representation for Nevadans with income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. NLS staff and volunteers have represented clients in federal courts, state courts, and in administrative hearings.

Each year, Ballard Spahr attorneys contribute more than 35,000 hours of pro bono legal services to a range of recipients including nonprofit organizations, low-income individuals, and arts groups.

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