Sasha Buchert (she/her)
Nonbinary and Transgender Rights Project Director
For years, the nation’s best and brightest legal minds have put their skills and passion to work to carry forth Lambda Legal’s mission to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ+ people and everyone living with HIV. In this series, you’ll get to know the people at the heart of what we do.
In this inaugural edition of Meet Our Lawyers, we’ll get to know Sasha Buchert. Sasha is the director of Lambda Legal’s Nonbinary and Transgender Rights Project (previously the Transgender Rights Project) and has been involved in extensive federal and state legislative and policy efforts on a wide range of issues including judicial nominations, criminal justice reform policy and health care initiatives. She was integral in our fight against the Trump administration and its incessant attacks against our communities and held the line against policies that threatened LGBTQ+ people’s access to health care, critical social services, and was key member of the team that challenged the ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.
What brought you to Lambda Legal?
Sasha: I had the privilege of working with Lambda Legal staff during my time at Transgender Law Center and was deeply impressed by their kindness and smarts. And of course, Lambda Legal has a long history of winning protections for the LGBTQ+ community and on behalf of people living with HIV. After the 2016 election, I knew I wanted to be on the front lines doing federal policy in DC and thankfully Lambda Legal had recently set up an office in DC to do just that and I couldn’t have been more excited about the prospect. I finally joined the team in 2017 and quickly got to work pushing back against attacks by the Trump administration at the federal policy level but through litigation, as well.
What issue or area of the law do you specialize in?
Sasha: At Lambda Legal, we are expected to be generalists overall, but I would say that I specialize in state and federal public policy matters. Much of my work has been focused on developing proactive public policy and responding to negative public policy through, for example, writing or editing legislation, providing testimony or public comment on proposed regulations or legislation.
What has been your proudest moment working at Lambda Legal?
Sasha: All of our work is collaborative, and we succeed as a team, but I think the proudest moments came after a couple of bills we worked on were signed into law. One of the bills clarified that transgender prisoners should be housed where they feel safest and the other eliminated the “panic defense.” I am also proud of the leadership role Lambda Legal took in responding to the Trump administration’s attacks, especially the lead role we took in challenging the ban on open transgender military service.
How have you seen the rights for LGBTQ+ folks advance in your lifetime? What has impacted you the most?
Sasha: Yes! I think the thing that has impacted me the most and given me the most hope beyond the growing legal protections is the growing acceptance, and frankly, ferocious love and protectiveness demonstrated by parents and families of LGBTQ youth, and especially trans youth. This support has really bloomed in my lifetime which will save and change so many lives. That said, study after study sadly demonstrates how much work there is still left to be done to shift public opinion (and the law).
What’s something fun or interesting you would like to share about yourself? If you watch TV, what is a show that you binge for comfort?
Sasha: I’m most drawn to comedies as a coping mechanism. I often turn to Kath & Kim or Absolutely Fabulous, and I love reading ridiculous books by P.G. Wodehouse.