Ilona Turner joined Transgender Law Center as legal director in January 2012. Before that, she was a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), where her work frequently focused on issues affecting transgender clients. She previously practiced law at Cohen, Weiss, & Simon LLP in New York City, representing unions, union-run health and retirement plans, and employees. In the early 2000s she worked as the lobbyist for Equality California, where she helped to shepherd groundbreaking legislation that prohibited housing and employment discrimination against transgender people and dramatically expanded the rights of domestic partners in California.
During law school at the University of California at Berkeley, Ilona was awarded the Mary C. Dunlap Fellowship to spend a summer working to advance transgender rights at NCLR. She also served as Managing Editor of the California Law Review and an Article Editor for the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, and authored Sex Stereotyping Per Se: Transgender Employees and Title VII, 95 Cal. L. Rev. 561 (2007).