Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

1. Does your law school intentionally seek out LGBTQ+ prospective students?
a. If so, how and where are your efforts directed?

Yes. Discover Cardozo is an annual open house event tailored to students of color and LGBTQ students, but open to all. Guests have the opportunity to: explore our academic programs, learn about the admissions process, and meet our faculty and staff.
Guests also have ample opportunities to learn about the student experience from members of OUTlaw, Cardozo’s LGBTQ student organization, and the Minority Law Students Alliance (MLSA).

2. Does your law school's welcome packet for admitted students include mention of identity group support for LGBTQ+ students, as well as for students of color or other minorities?

Yes, all admitted students are invited to attend the Horizons Program. Cardozo hosts Horizons annually—an orientation program for incoming students. Historically a student-driven initiative, and now a Cardozo tradition, Horizons is designed to provide incoming students of color and members of the LGBTQ community insight on navigating the law school landscape. Held during our extensive orientation program, Horizons offers incoming students a foretaste of classes and faculty expectations. Components of the program have included a mock class taught by a Cardozo faculty member and debriefing sessions with current students and alumni.

3. Does your school offer students the option to self-identify as LGBTQ+ in admissions applications or post-enrollment forms?

Cardozo allows applicants to submit an optional essay regarding personal characteristics or any other factors (economic, social, physical, educational, or cultural) that they would like the Admissions Committee to consider as part of its review.

4. Does your law school offer transgender students who have not legally changed their names the ability to have their name of choice on admission applications or post enrollment forms?

Transgender students who have not legally changed their names can use their name of choice on applications and post enrollment forms.

5. Does your law school provide any annual scholarships specifically for LGBTQ+ students?

The E. Nathaniel Gates Scholarship, named after a former Cardozo professor, recognizes outstanding potential in those who are first-generation graduate students or who come from backgrounds under-represented in the legal profession. Professor Gates, a member of the Cardozo faculty from 1992 until his death in 2006, was the first member of his immediate family to attend college and law school. He served as advisor to important student initiatives and organizations, including the Diversity Coalition and the Black, Asian, and Latino Law Students Association.

6. Does your law school provide funding, including travel support, for LGBTQ+ students to participate in LGBTQ+-focused learning and career services opportunities?
a. If so, please provide details and examples of when and how those opportunities have been utilized.

The Office of Career Services (“OCS”) welcomes partnerships and co-sponsorships with student groups on programming.  OCS will provide funding for programs and events that have a career-oriented subject.

7. Does your law school actively seek to employ diverse staff/faculty/administrators, including visible, out LGBTQ+ individuals?
a. If so, please detail how and where recruitment efforts are directed

Yeshiva University, in its efforts to maintain a diverse workforce, will advertise its open positions with state workforce agencies as well as a number of local and national organizations that support veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, minorities and individuals from other protected groups. Our open positions are shared with several organizations that specifically work to support LGBTQ+ communities.  We are also a member of a higher education recruitment consortium that does outreach to individuals from these communities.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
Two out LGBTQ+ faculty members.
How many out LGBTQ+ faculty of color does your institution currently employ in total?
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
Two out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators.
How many out LGBTQ+ staff members/administrators of color does your institution currently employ in total?
10. Does your law school provide benefits such as health insurance, family medical leave, parental leave, and nontraditional family planning such as in vitro fertilization and/or adoptive benefits on equal terms to same-sex couples who are married or in registered domestic partnerships as are provided to different-sex married or registered domestic partner couples?
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Yeshiva University recognize same-sex marriages and provide health insurance and related benefits to the same-sex spouses of faculty and administrators.

11. Does your law school offer the aforementioned health benefits to students and their same-sex spouses/partners?
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

Covered services are offered to both students and their spouses/partners.

12. Does your law school offer transition-related health benefits to transgender and/or transitioning employees?
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

Yes, per the employee health insurance policy for a given year.

13. Does your school offer the same transition-related healthcare benefits to students and their partners/spouses?
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here (or you may email a copy of your policy to

Yes, per the student health insurance policy for a given academic year.

14. Do all students at your law school have access to counseling and/or therapy services either through the law school or the larger University?

All students have the option to seek professional counseling services at the University Counseling Center.  Yeshiva’s Counseling Center offers short-term individual counseling, psychiatric assessment and short-term medication managements, referral services, crisis intervention and emergency services.  All services are free of charge and confidential.

15. Does your law school provide at least bi-annual mandatory diversity and inclusion training that incorporates robust LGBTQ+ curriculum, for all staff/faculty/administrators?

Cardozo provides an annual mandatory diversity and inclusion training that incorporates LGBTQ+ curriculum for all first-year students— all staff, faculty, and administrators are invited and encouraged to attend.

16. Does your law school provide a gender-inclusive restroom in any and/or all law school buildings?
a. How is that restroom identified (i.e., what does the signage say, is it identified on building maps, is there a gender-inclusive restroom policy that applies to all restrooms and where is that statement published, etc.)?

The law school has multiple gender-inclusive bathrooms throughout the building. The bathrooms are labeled “Gender Neutral”. The locations for these bathrooms are published in the student handbook.

17. Does your law school have one or more annual LGBTQ+ course offerings (e.g., LGBT Law and Policy, Sexual Orientation and the Law, Gender and the Law (taught with trans-inclusive and focused materials), etc.)?
a. If so, please list course names

Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Law
Professor: E. Stein/A. David
Credits: 2
 Pre/Corequisite: None

This course looks at legal issues relating to sexual orientation and gender, especially questions relating to lesbian, gay, and bisexual rights; women’s rights; and the rights of transgender people. The course looks at both constitutional and statutory issues, with particular attention to issues relating to speech, families, reproduction, and discrimination.

Constitutional Law II
Professors: Adams, Hamilton, Herz, Reinert, Rosenfeld, Weisberg, Rudenstine
Credits: 3
 Pre/Corequisite: None

This course examines the sources, content, and scope of constitutional, protection-afforded, individual rights, focusing on “unenumerated” fundamental rights, the equal protection clause (including, but not limited to, bars on racial and sexual discrimination), and freedom of speech.

Employment Discrimination I: Title 7 and the ADEA
Professor: Jacobson
Credits: 3 
Pre/Corequisite: None

Employment Discrimination I addresses issues raised by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, covering discrimination based on race, sex, religion, color, and alienage. It also addresses issues raised by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.

Family Law
Professors: E. Stein, Maldonado, Collins, S. Stone, Grossman
Credits: 3
 Pre/Corequisite: None

This course examines federal and state laws concerning familial relationships (broadly construed). The course focuses on legal familial relations between adults, specifically: who can get married; the rights, duties, and obligations of marriage; the state’s interest in marriage; the dissolution of marriages; and the distribution of property upon dissolution. The course also considers alternatives to marriage, interracial families, and same-sex familial relationships. Special attention is paid to policy-based and theoretical questions about families.

Federal Civil Rights Law
Professors: Gilles, Adams
Credits: 3
 Pre/Corequisite: None. Prior coursework in Constitutional Law or Federal Courts is recommended, but not required.
This course considers the interpretation and effect of significant federal civil rights legislation. The course begins with the Reconstruction statutes, 42 U.S.C. Sections 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1985, with particular focus on Section 1983. Students will study the following issues in some detail: constitutional and nonconstitutional rights enforceable under Section 1983, types of immunity defenses, governmental liability, and attorneys’ fees. Students will then examine the civil rights legislation enacted during the 1960s and 1970s, with particular focus on Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Titles IV and IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Finally, students will consider more recent civil rights statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. The course concludes with a discussion of the future of civil rights law in relation to the war on terror, immigration, sexual orientation, and other current and controversial intersections.

International Human Rights
Professor: Rona
Credits: 3
 Pre/Corequisite: None

This course assesses the political theories, laws, and institutions that address recognition and protection of human dignity. The idea that humans have rights under international law is both radical and essential: radical because international law traditionally governed state-to-state relations, not ones between the state and individuals; essential because states often cannot or will not protect fundamental notions of human dignity in the absence of an international legal superstructure.
Students will explore the idea of human rights as a body of international law, its origins, progress, implementation, and enforcement. Students will study its relation to other bodies of international law, such as the laws of armed conflict, international criminal law, refugee law, and the law of state responsibility, as well as its relation to domestic legal frames of civil rights and civil liberties. Students will discuss distinctions between the so-called “first generation” of civil and political rights and the “second generation” of social, economic, and cultural rights, as well as distinctions between individual and group rights. Students will consider whether nonstate entities, such as armed groups, and businesses, such as extractive industries and private military and security contractors, have human rights obligations.
Students will explore discrimination—including discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, and disability—and we will measure progress toward its elimination.

18. Does your law school have an active, visible LGBTQ+ law student group that is supported by the institution?

OUTlaw is Cardozo’s pioneer student group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex students and their allies. OUTlaw organizes meetings, educational panels, and social activities to advance LGBTQI rights and issues. One of the group’s prominent events is an annual reception in which the E. Nathaniel Gates Award, established in honor of a beloved Cardozo profes­sor, is presented to notable Cardozo LGBT alumni.

19. Does your law school have a hate/bias incident policy that students are required to follow?
a. If so, does that process specifically identify sexual orientation, gender identity, or both as protected categories?

Cardozo’s Non-discrimination, Affirmative Action and Sexual Harassment and Assault policy works to ensure that its programs are administered in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of any individual’s or group’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, creed, age, national origin or ancestry, sex, marital status, physical or mental disability, veteran or disabled veteran status, genetic predisposition/carrier status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, or other categories protected by law, or in retaliation for opposition to any practices proscribed by this policy.

If a student believes that they have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or assault they are encouraged to speak with the Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Student Services in room 1000 or the Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in room 1045.

b. is there a clear hate bias/incident reporting process for students/faculty/staff to utilize if necessary?
20. Please describe all additional ways, not identified through your responses, that your law school works to be safe, inclusive, and welcoming to LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and administrators:

OUTlaw Alumni was created to support diversity and foster community in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) alumni from Cardozo with the goal of promoting social events, networking opportunities, career help, and more. The OUTlaw Alumni group works closely to support and mentor Cardozo OUTlaw students often co-sponsoring events and bridging the gap between alumni and students. As part of the student’s Gates Event, OUTlaw Alumni help to fundraise towards the LGBT Fund’s Paris Baldacci Scholarship for Outstanding Student Work in LGBT Rights.

Cardozo’s Office of Career Services (“OCS”) provides a dedicated OCS Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives who works in conjunction with Cardozo’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion to develop resources and programming, in addition to providing advice to students and alumni regarding placement.  OCS also provides resources targeting students and alumni of diverse backgrounds, including the OCS Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Guide and provides information about, and access to, a broad range of initiatives, including career fairs, fellowships, internships, and scholarships.