Mazzoni to celebrate legal work with new locale, format

Mazzoni to celebrate legal work with new locale, format

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Mazzoni Center will host its fourth annual Open Bar Event on Feb. 27, this year at a new location, the National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut St. The event, 3-7 p.m., will raise money for Mazzoni’s Legal Services Department, which provides legal services for low-income individuals in the LGBT community. Open Bar will be split into two parts, with a Continuing Legal Education program from 3-5:15 p.m. and an evening reception to follow. Ticket prices range from $125 for the CLE portion to $20 for the reception. Perry Monastero, Mazzoni director of development and marketing, said he hopes the event sheds light on the high-quality work the legal-services team provides. “This is the fourth year that we are hosting the Open Bar event and we just want people to know about the legal services that are at the Mazzoni Center,” he said. David Rosenblum, director of legal services, said he has seen the department’s tangible impact on the LGBT community. “We do a great number of simple procedures like name changes for transgender people, and we also have a number of people who come in with claims of discrimination in employment or public-accommodation issues,” he said. Although the legal department serves mostly Philadelphia residents, it also has worked with people statewide. “We get people from all over Pennsylvania because we are the only LGBT nonprofit that has legal services in the entire state,” Rosenblum said. The Open Bar event caters to professionals in the legal field but also brings in clients and supporters of Mazzoni. Open Bar is sponsored by Dechert LLP, the recipient of the first-ever Amicus Award for its work and commitment to the LGBT community. The event will also recognize two leaders with Justice In Action awards for their trailblazing work within the legal field. For the first time, legal professionals can receive two credit hours of CLE programming, with one in ethics and one in a substantive area — allowing participants to explore issues like marriage equality. “It is a nice forum for people to talk about different issues,” Rosenblum said. “The world is hopefully going to change very soon, especially with the cases of DOMA and Prop. 8. There will be energy around this and we want to engage the community.” To purchase tickets, visit www.mazzonicenter.org/events/open-bar-iv.

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