We seek to admit a diverse student body that reflects a wide range of life experiences. Although our application does not request prospective students to identify their gender identity or sexual orientation, applicants may indicate in the Candidate Referral Service profile they set up with LSAC that they are LGBTQ+ and/or interested in LGBTQ+ issues and student organizations. When prospective students provide such information, we strive to make them feel welcome and included at BYU Law.
When we send students an offer of admission, we include a brief overview of certain academic resources within the Law School, but we have not included information about any special interest groups in this packet. The Law School’s Assistant Dean of Students meets individually with all entering students to understand their interests, assess their needs, and inform them of relevant resources. Among the resources available to LGBTQ+ students is the Office of Student Success and Inclusion, which offers LGBTQ+-specific outreach.
All students are allowed to specify a “preferred name” on their admission application, and we use this name in subsequent communications from the Admissions Office. Students are also allowed to use a preferred name on their diplomas, but their transcripts use their legal name.
The Law School provides funding, including travel support, for students, including LGBTQ+ students, to participate in learning and career services opportunities. For example, one of our LGBTQ+ students received funding support to work as an intern for the ACLU’s LGBT Project in New York City.
We seek to employ a diverse staff/faculty/administration, reflecting a wide range of life experiences. The Law School’s Policy on Non-discrimination (see above) expressly includes hiring of faculty and employees and proscribes “discrimination or segregation on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, gender (including identity and expression), sexual orientation, age, or disability.”
Yes. The University counseling center is available to law students and our Dean of Students works closely with the Clinical Director of the University counseling center to meet the individualized needs of law students. The Law School is in the process of hiring a dedicated counselor for law students, housed at the Law School. We hope to have this professional in place for the next school year. Student access to counseling is free and confidential, and counseling can be on any topic.
The staff members of the Law School have had both Title IX and diversity/inclusion training as recently as last week. We offered Title IX training to faculty, administration, staff, and students earlier in January. Title IX deals with being respectful in all relationships. To ensure thorough training at regular intervals, the Law School recently created a new position for a Director of Human Resources and Employee Development/Training. This person will coordinate training initiatives to enhance employee skills, performance, and productivity. Likewise, strategies to enhance employee engagement and retention will be further developed. These initiatives will include diversity and inclusion training consistent with our commitment to helping those associated with the Law School to feel welcome and included.
In the summer of 2018, the Law School created two gender-inclusive restrooms that provide for individual use. We now have three such restrooms, each designated “Restroom.”
The Law School offers courses that include LGBTQ+-focused content, including Family Law, Fourteenth Amendment, Freedom of Religion, and Social Thought & Feminist Legal Theory.
The Law School does not have such a student group.
BYU’s Honor Code Statement provides, “As a matter of personal commitment, the faculty, administration, staff, and students of Brigham Young University … seek to demonstrate in daily living on and off-campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will … [r]espect others.” The Law School has participated with the University in its efforts to promote respect for others, including LGBTQ+ members of our community. For example, BYU recently released a video on Instagram and YouTube on the importance of respecting others. See https://youtu.be/DryUIXptxLw
We are committed to the doctrine that every human being has worth and dignity as a child of God. God loves all his children alike, and we take seriously the Christian charge to love one another as he loves us. (John 13:34) We recognize that we each fall short of this admonition, but it is our aspiration. Several faculty members of the Law School are visibly active in supporting Encircle, a local LGBTQ+ family and youth resource center, and the Law School’s chapter of the American Constitution Society sponsored a service project at Encircle last semester. This semester, the Law School’s Public Interest Law Foundation is hosting an event with a local attorney who will be speaking about interacting with and helping LGBTQ+ clients. Recently, BYU hosted the NCAA Common Ground IV initiative. According to the NCAA website, “BYU was the first private, faith-based Division I institution to host Common Ground, which aims to establish inclusive and respectful athletics environments for participants of all sexual orientations, gender identities and religious beliefs.” To read more about Common Ground IV, visit ncaa.org/static/champion/breaking-ground and ncaa.org/static/champion/an-uncommon-conversation. Drawing on similar motivations, BYU Law aspires to establish inclusive and respectful environments for law students of all sexual orientations, gender identities and religious beliefs.