Legal Aid Society


Erin Harrist Joins LAS to Lead LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit

The Legal Aid Society is pleased to announce that Erin Harrist has joined the organization as Supervising Attorney of the LGBTQ+ Law and Policy Unit.

Erin comes to LAS from the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she led litigation and policy efforts to advance the rights of LGB and TGNCNB people in New York for over seven years. During that time, she worked with school districts to ensure they provide a safe and affirming environment for TGNCNB youth, including by ensuring access to sex-segregated facilities consistent with a student’s gender identity. She has advocated with police departments and sheriffs’ offices to adopt policies prohibiting discriminatory treatment of LGB and TGNCNB people and protecting them from abuse and harassment in custody and has supervised several cases against police and corrections officers for unlawful and degrading treatment of women on the basis of their gender identity. She has collaborated with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Legal Aid’s Prisoners’ Rights Project in similar efforts with NYS DOCCS.

In addition to her work on LGB and TGNCNB rights, Erin has also led litigation establishing that farmworkers have a right to organize under the New York State Constitution and holding police departments accountable for the use of excessive force against minors. She recently argued a case before the Fourth Department seeking to establish that the Division of Human Rights has jurisdiction over police and carceral facilities.