Danielle Joy Healey, Fish and Richardson

On Thursday afternoon, when Houston patent litigator Danielle Joy “DJ” Healey gave a speech at the State Bar of Texas Advanced Patent Law Seminar at a resort in the Texas Hill Country, she was her “authentic self.”

Healey, a senior principal in Fish & Richardson in Houston formerly known as David Healey, has announced that she is transgender and now living as a woman under her new name.

Healey said in an email that she is making her first filings Thursday under her new name. On Friday, she said, she plans to attend the Texas Senate hearing in Austin on the so-called “bathroom” bill that would restrict access to bathrooms for transgender Texans. Healey said she hopes to testify and also to submit written testimony.

She announced her status in a Facebook posting in which she wrote that “with the support of my wife, family, friends and law firm, I have now dealt with a life-long condition I have no control over, transgender.”

She wrote that she is now “living as the woman I am.”

In a written statement, Fish & Richardson said it fully supports Healey in her transition to live as a woman.

“Diversity and inclusion are crucial to the positive culture and success of our firm, and we treat everyone with respect and dignity at all times. DJ is a valued colleague and an important part of the Fish family, and we will support her completely in the months ahead,” the firm wrote in the statement.

The firm updated Healey’s firm bio, with her new name and photo, on Tuesday.

Healey is one of three IP litigators who left Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Houston in 2008 to open the Fish & Richardson office in Houston.

In the email to Texas Lawyer, Healey wrote that her family, friends, firm and colleagues have been very supportive, and she’s received about 300 positive messages over the last day, and was “well received” at the seminar.