Julie Chovanes graduated from Villanova University, Villanova, PA with four degrees including law. She founded Chovanes Law after she left her partnership in the largest law firm in the world, DLA Piper, in order to better serve her clients.
Julie practices civil rights law and advocacy and has practiced in commercial areas, ranging from business law and litigation to patent law.
Julie is one of the few trans women to have her own firm and engage in impact litigation matters for trans and other people. She has changed the law to force recognition of the rights of trans people:
- Doe v. Romberger, et. al. Providing Pennsylvanians with gender accurate birth certificates.
- Doe v. Arrisi, et. al. Providing New Jerseyans with gender accurate birth certificates, and obtaining the first and pioneering Declaration from the Trump Administration declaring it is the Policy of the United States to support trans people with gender dysphoria under the ADA.
- Doe v. Dallas, et. al., Pennsylvania’s ban on trans Medicaid care. Prior to this case, the poorest and most disadvantaged trans people had no ability to pay for trans medical care through Medicaid.
Julie also practices employment and other law on behalf of trans people. Pending matters include:
- Doe v. University Of Pennsylvania et. al., a gender rights employment discrimination case against the University of Pennsylvania, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and others. (pending)
- Chovanes v. Philadelphia District Attorney's office, seeking the truth about the murder of a trans woman in Philadelphia custody. (pending)
“While I always appreciated the challenges others faced, until I transitioned I didn’t understand what it was like to live through the challenges of being a disfavored minority. I was a white male with all the privileges that entailed. Now, as a trans woman, I am a member of a disfavored minority. As a result my understanding of others has broadened, my humility has increased a hundred-fold at least, and I more fully appreciate the human dignity of all others."