Chinyere Ezie (Cheen-Yer-Ray Ay-Zee-Ay) is a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer and social justice activist who specializes in constitutional litigation and anti-discrimination work. In 2016, Chinyere was named one of the country's Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.
Presently, Chinyere is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights where she focuses on racial justice, gender justice, and LGBT rights work. Chinyere previously worked as a Staff Attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center LGBT Rights Project, where she was lead counsel for transgender rights activist Ashley Diamond in her suit against the Georgia Department of Corrections. Chinyere also worked as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she successfully represented employees who had been subjected to discrimination—securing a $5.1 million dollar trial verdict.
Chinyere has considerable expertise with respect to constitutional litigation and federal civil rights advocacy, including in the areas of education and employment. She has defended the rights of employees to be free from gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and religious coercion in the workplace; litigated cases regarding racially discriminatory law enforcement practices; and advocated against bills and ordinances that would subject LGBT persons to disparate treatment.
Chinyere is a frequent speaker at law conferences and social justice convenings across the country. Her advocacy has also been reported on by the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and NPR, among others.
Chinyere is a William J. Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, where she served as President of Columbia Outlaws and Editor in Chief of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.
She also clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and worked as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton LLP in New York City.
Chinyere serves as a Board Member of the National Trans Bar Association and Transgender Law Center. In her free time, she enjoys photography, power-lifting, and spending time with her wife and puppy.