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Transgender community gets free legal aid with name-change paperwork

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Jane Goldstein, of Ropes & GrayChris Morris for The Boston Globe

As the push for transgender rights gains national momentum, that's creating a lot of legal paperwork, especially for people obtaining name changes.

If you were born Joseph and want to become Janet, or vice versa, think of all the documents you might need to update: driver's license, passport, Social Security card, birth certificate, mortgage title, insurance records, voter registration, and so on.

That process could be a complicated, bureaucratic mess, but three Boston groups have partnered in hopes of making it an easy undertaking.

The law firm Ropes & Gray, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition have created the Transgender ID Project, which provides free legal help to transgender people in New England who are changing their names or updating identity forms.


"This is relatively quick and simple work for us, but it's of paramount importance to these people to get all their identification documentation in line," said Jane Goldstein, the co-managing partner of Ropes & Gray's Boston office, who is supervising the project with Ropes partner Kat Gregor.

Plus, Goldstein joked, "as corporate lawyers, there's nothing we do better than fill out forms and figure out paperwork!"

GLAD has referred 60 people to Ropes since the program was launched last week, and the law firm has trained more than 70 of its attorneys to assist in those referrals.

This isn't the first time that GLAD and Ropes have teamed up. Last year, for instance, GLAD's Mary Bonauto and Ropes partner Doug Hallward-Driemeier argued the historic marriage equality case before the Supreme Court. — SACHA PFEIFFER

Back in Boston

Jeannine Sargent left the state's tech scene behind in 1991, when she went to California to continue her career. But on Tuesday, she was back in town — with a project that might in the future help prevent talented professionals from decamping for the West Coast.


Sargent is now president of innovation and new ventures in San Jose, Calif., with Flex, a global high-tech manufacturer. She returned to Massachusetts to open a 17,000-square-foot outpost in South Boston's Innovation & Design Building, known as a Flex Innovation Center. This is Flex's fifth such location, and its first on the East Coast.

Customers from a wide variety of industries can use the equipment there to design a product, build a prototype, and move into mass-production.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Sargent referred to her former colleagues at Digital Equipment Corp., the now-defunct computer company where she worked for most of the 1980s:

"The DECcies were a big part of Massachusetts for a long time," she said.

She added that Flex picked Boston because of its concentration of universities, startups, and established technology players.

It also helped that the Walsh and Baker administrations aggressively wooed the firm: Governor Charlie Baker personally pitched the state, and his administration pledged $3 million to renovate the city-owned space and to buy some of the equipment.

Boston officials, meanwhile, offered property tax relief valued at $300,000.

The impact will be much greater than the 25-plus people Flex will employ directly, said John Barros, the city's economic development chief.

"Businesses don't have to get on a plane and take their products to the West Coast," he said.

"In many ways, it really fills out our ecosystem." — JON CHESTO

Rock star walks into bar...

What happens when you mix a rock star and a veteran restaurant beverage director?


A new neighborhood restaurant and cocktail bar called Lion's Tail.

Dropkick Murphys frontman Ken Casey and cocktail connoisseur Jarek Mountain, beverage director at Back Bay Harry's and Abby Lane Food & Spirits, have teamed up to open the new spot, due to debut in mid-December in the South End's Ink Block complex.

"Ted Tye [managing partner at National Development] approached me about coming here, and we knew Jarek had a great concept," Casey said of the opening. "I'm really intrigued by the neighborhood feel."

Casey is also an investor in several other restaurants, including McGreevy's in the Back Bay, Lower Mills Tavern in Dorchester, and Central Bistro in Downtown Crossing. Lion's Tail will be on the first floor, with an entrance on Harrison Street as well as an interior entrance for Ink Block tenants.

HGTV and Food Network personality Taniya Nayak, a Milton native, is designing the interior.

New face on TJX board

A former chief operating officer at Ralph Lauren is joining the board of the Framingham-based retail conglomerate TJX Cos.

Jackwyn Nemerov left Ralph Lauren in November 2015 after two years as president and chief operating offier. She retired amid a time of change at the upscale clothing line, leaving shortly after Ralph Lauren himself, the company's namesake, announced he was stepping aside as chief executive.

Nemerov had been an executive vice president at Ralph Lauren and served on its board.

At TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, she will serve on the board's executive compensation committee, according to a securities filing. — ADAM VACCARO


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