Call for Justice Director Pens Roadmap for Welcoming Transgender Lawyers

Author and lawyer, Ellen (Ellie) Krug, has published an essay on how America’s legal profession can welcome transgender attorneys. Krug’s piece, entitled “We Hear You Knocking: An Essay on Welcoming ‘Trans’ Lawyers,” appears in the just-released Volume 41 edition of the William Mitchell Law Review published by William Mitchell College of Law and devoted to LGBTQ topics for the first time in its history.

Krug, a lawyer with more than 100 trials to her credit, was born male. A graduate of Coe College and Boston College Law School, Krug founded a trial law firm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In her 33 year career, Krug eventually tried jury cases in four different states and argued before the Supreme Courts in Massachusetts and Iowa and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul.

In 2009, at age 52, Krug transitioned from male to female. Two months after transitioning
genders, Krug won a Cedar Rapids jury case, making her the first transgender attorney to try a
jury case in Iowa. Krug later argued a case at the Iowa Supreme Court as a woman. Eventually,
Krug closed her law practice and moved to Minneapolis where she founded and now heads
Call for Justice, LLC, an ABA-award winning nonprofit that helps people connect with legal
resources.

“I think American law firms and legal employers will soon see far more transgender attorneys and law clerks,” Krug said. “My essay is intended as a roadmap on how to welcome them to the
profession.” Krug noted that only 18 states (and Washington D.C.) and approximately 150
cities/municipalities have laws protecting transgender persons, and thus, the legal profession
must lead the way in accepting and integrating “trans” legal professionals. “It’s our duty as
attorneys—who above all else should be concerned with fairness and equality—to ‘do it right’
and show other professions that transgender persons can make really great team members,”
Krug said.

Krug is the author of Getting to Ellen: A Memoir about Love, Honesty and Gender Change
(Stepladder Press 2013) and a regular contributor to Lavender Magazine. She is a national
speaker on the life lessons learned during her “gender journey” and has been featured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and on Iowa Public Radio.

Krug’s essay can be found here.