Steffi Romano

  • Hosted by UnLocal, Inc
  • Sponsored by The Paul Rapoport Foundation
  • Service location New York City, New York
  • Law school City University of New York School of Law
  • Issue area LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

UnLocal, Inc.’s LGBTQ+ Immigrant Youth Justice Project provides pro bono legal representation, and community outreach and education, to LGBTQ+ youth of color in the five (5) boroughs of New York City, with an emphasis on the immigrant subpopulation vulnerable to being victims of human trafficking, abuse, crime, and other forms of violence.

According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association, there are over 70 countries that criminalize members of the LGBTQ+ community. The Center for American Progress reported that undocumented LGBTQ immigrants and HIV-affected communities are “3.4 times more likely to experience sexual violence and 3.5 times more likely to experience physical violence compared to the general LGBT population.” In the United States, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1 out of 3 lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth is estimated to have attempted suicide in the last year, and in 2017 alone, 28 transgender women, disproportionately of color, were killed.

Fellowship Highlights

During the Fellowship period, Steffi has:

  • Provided over 30 legal consultations and referrals
  • Provided full legal representation to 18 individuals, and overseen 22 cases
  • Participated, hosted, and/or led 23 events on behalf of the Project, with over 400 attendees
  • Organized UnLocal, Inc.’s first participation in the NYC LGBT Pride March, with almost 50 participants
  • Been recognized by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the best LGBT Lawyers under 40

Meet Other Fellows Like Steffi

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Catherine Sakimura

Host: National Center for Lesbian Rights

Sponsor: Anonymous

Photo of Rafael Varela

Rafael Varela

Host: Community & Economic Development Clinic at CUNY School of Law

Sponsor: The Paul Rapoport Foundation

Gabriella Larios

Host: New York Civil Liberties Union

Sponsor: Anonymous

Current Fellow

Jalise Burt

Host: New York Civil Liberties Union

Sponsor: Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel