Senior Counsel, Detention Project
Jennifer Orthwein is Senior Counsel of the Detention Project with the Transgender Law Center where her work focuses on institutionalized transgender people’s rights. She aims to improve institutional policies and advocates for transgender individuals who are incarcerated, detained or civilly committed to ensure they are protected, respected, provided appropriate and competent medical and mental health care, and are allowed to openly express their gender.
Jennifer received her J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law and holds a B.A. from Bucknell University, an M.A. in Applied Psychology from Golden Gate University and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University. During law school, Jennifer was a Law Clerk at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. She is licensed to practice law and psychology in California. She began her career as a psychologist in the California correctional and hospital systems and her legal work with Transgender Law Center is largely informed by those experiences.
Jennifer has served as an expert psychological witness in both federal and state court and has a private psychological consulting practice, which provides assistance to counsel and courts in cases involving LGBTQ people and/or forensic psychological assessment. She also trains and lectures professionals and students on mental health and public policy issues related to LGBTQ people. She has co-authored publications related to practitioner liability in cases of suicide, as well as gender bias in the criminal justice system. Recently, she legally wed her partner of eight years and they adopted their first child, Aaron Joaquin.