Berkeley Law School

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

Yes. We seek to enroll an excellent and diverse class each year, which begins first with a wide range of outreach efforts. This includes creating and disseminating print and electronic materials that include information about student organizations, experiential education, course offerings, faculty, and the student body, among other things, and ensuring that these materials present images and information that is representative of our school’s inclusivity. We also created and maintain a diversity-specific web page featuring a section on opportunities for LGBTQ+ students. We also send targeted emails to student who self-report (through LSAC) that they are interested in LGBTQ student organizations using the Candidate Referral Service. In addition, we partner with our student organizations and other organizations to attend or organize events that are designed to reach diverse students, including LGBTQ+ students. For example, we participated in a law school event organized by LSAC at Lavender Law.

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

Yes. Our admitted students guide (admit packet) identifies student organizations such as Queer Caucus and Queers United in Revolutionary Subversion. We also identify other affinity groups (e.g., Womxn of Color Collective, Law Students of African Descent, Native American Law Student Association, etc.), and the First Generation Professional student group. Student organizations like the ones above, as well as others such trans@berkeley, have the opportunity to receive logistical and financial support to do outreach to admitted students, and to hold events during Admitted Students’ Weekend. (Note: These opportunities are available to any registered group at the law school.)

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

Yes, in several ways/places:

Under “Prefix” in the Biographical section of the application (the very first question) we include both the the “Mx.” and “Ind.” options. (Ind. stand for “Individual” and is intended to be entirely free of gender, thus an option for agender individuals or others who prefer not to use Mx. for any number of reasons.)

Under “Biographical” we ask the following questions:

What sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?
___ Female
___ Male

The following three questions in this section are optional. Your answer, or your decision not to answer, will have no bearing on our admission decision. In addition, your response will be suppressed from your application during the review process.

How do you describe yourself?
___ Male
___ Female
___ Trans Male/Trans Man
___ Trans Female/Trans Woman
___Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming
___Different Identity

We understand that gender identity may be expressed in a variety of ways. Should you wish to elaborate on your response or non-response to the previous questions, you are invited to complete the section below.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do you consider yourself to be:
___ Heterosexual or Straight
___ Gay or Lesbian
___ Bisexual
___ Other not listed above

We also allow applicants to submit an optional “Diversity Statement” (in addition to the Personal Statement) with the following prompt: “How will you (your perspective, experience, Voice) contribute diversity in our classrooms and community?”

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?
Yes

Yes. We ask for “Preferred First Name” in the application itself, and our salutations in letters, name tags for events, etc. all are based on that response (not First/given Name).

5. Does your law school provide any annual scholarships specifically for LGBTQ+ students?
No

We do not offer scholarships specifically for or limited to LGBTQ+ students. We do offer both merit and need-based gift aid.

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

Every student is eligible to apply for up to $200 to attend a law-related conference each academic year. This funding has been used, for example, to support students attending Lavender Law.

Berkeley Law’s Queer Caucus offers two annual summer fellowships of $1000 to Berkeley Law students pursuing specific types of public interest work affecting the LGBTQ community. The Ken Bryan Fund was established in memory of a student who died of complications from AIDS in his second year at Berkeley Law. The fund provides grants for Berkeley students doing AIDS/HIV-related legal work over the summer. The Mary C. Dunlap Fellowship was established in honor of Mary Dunlap, a Berkeley Law alum who made significant contributions as a civil rights attorney. The fellowship supports student work targeting underserved LGBT communities.

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

Berkeley Law requires all faculty candidates to submit a statement of contribution to diversity, which is an important element in the consideration of candidates.

In addition, during Berkeley Law’s hiring process for lateral faculty candidates, a reading group of Berkeley Law faculty performs a check to verify that LGBTQ+ candidates are properly represented in the long list of candidates to be considered for lateral positions.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
Berkeley Law has no formal process for identifying, counting or documenting faculty LGBTQ+ status. Various “out-lists” for the UC Berkeley campus and School of Law suggest there are 5-6 self-identifying LGBTQ+ faculty, two of color.
How many out LGBTQ+ faculty of color does your institution currently employ in total?
2
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
Berkeley Law has no formal process for identifying, counting or documenting staff/administrators LGBTQ+ status. Various “out-lists” for the UC Berkeley campus and School of Law suggest there are 10 self-identifying LGBTQ+ staff/administrators, one of color.
How many out LGBTQ+ staff members/administrators of color does your institution currently employ in total?
1
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?
Yes
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

UC Berkeley’s health plans, and family/parental leave benefits, nontraditional planning and adoptive benefits, are available to all married or registered-partnership couples.

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

UC Berkeley’s student health insurance plan provides equal benefits to same-sex couples and different-sex couples. UC Berkeley’s University Health Center was recognized in 2017 as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

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

https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/forms/pdf/transgender-health-benefits-fact-sheet.pdf

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

Yes. UC Berkeley’s student health insurance plan covers students and their same-sex spouses/partners at equivalent levels. Transgender benefits include: gender reassignment surgery, hysterectomy, hormone therapy, top surgery, electrolysis of the face and neck, tracheal shave, laser hair removal of the face and neck, fertility preservation, vocal training, and limited travel costs.

https://uhs.berkeley.edu/insurance/ship-benefits/insurance-benefits-transgender-students

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?
Yes

Yes. We have two psychologists that offer counseling appointments at the law school, typically with availability 5 days a week. There is also counseling available to students through University Health Services on the main campus. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/counseling

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?
No

Training is available to departments, but is not mandatory.

16. Does your law school provide a gender-inclusive restroom in any and/or all law school buildings?
Yes
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.)?

In keeping with UC Berkeley campus policy, the Law School Complex has 12 gender-inclusive, single use restrooms. They are identified on building maps. The signage, which is standard on all of campus, is as follows:

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.)?
Yes
a. If so, please list course names

Yes. Courses vary year to year, and are updated annually in our Prospectus.

Recent Courses include:

  • Race, Sexuality, and the Law
  • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & the Law
  • Reproduction & Sexuality Seminar
18. Does your law school have an active, visible LGBTQ+ law student group that is supported by the institution?
Yes

Berkeley Law’s student organization Queer Caucus, founded in 1978, is comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant, queer law students and allies. In addition, Berkeley Law is home to the LGBTQ+ student organizations Trans @ Berkeley Law and Queers United in Revolutionary Subversion (QUIRS). All registered student organizations are eligible to receive funding from the student government, to participate in the student activities fair, to utilize law school facilities for their events, and to be listed on the Berkeley Law website.

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

Yes, in the code of conduct and it identifies both sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories:

“Sanctions [for any violations of Section 102.00, Grounds for Discipline] may be enhanced where an individual was selected because of the individual’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, ancestry, service in the uniformed services, physical or mental disability, medical condition, or perceived membership in any of these classifications.”

“Harassment includes, but is not limited to, conduct that is motivated on the basis of the person’s race, color, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, ancestry, service in the uniformed services, physical or mental disability, medical condition, or perceived membership in any of these classifications. Pursuant to section 104.90, sanctions may be enhanced for conduct motivated on the basis of the above classifications.”

There is also an Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). OPHD takes reports alleging discrimination and harassment on the basis of categories including race, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation/identity, including allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

b. is there a clear hate bias/incident reporting process for students/faculty/staff to utilize if necessary?
Yes
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:

Berkeley Law has an Ad Hoc Amelioration Committee, which formed in response to efforts by the Trump Administration to prohibit openly transgender people from joining the armed forces.  The purpose of the committee is/was to advise the Career Development Office and/or other affected departments on how best to combat the negative effects of having to allow the military to participate in recruiting activities despite its discriminatory hiring practice.

Students are able to indicate their pronouns on seating charts for professors.
Faculty & Staff Pride Lunch
Lavender Lunch
UC Berkeley’s Gender Equity Resource Center provides resources and events focusing on LGBTQ+ issues, needs and communities.
Available trainings
Staff/faculty identify their pronouns within the signature line on their email.
Admissions provides pronoun banners (e.g., My pronouns are: she/her, he/him, they/them, Ask Me) that adhere to name tags for Admitted Students’ Weekend and Orientation.

Launching this year (2019) is our new Center on Race, Sexuality, and Culture. Professor Russell Robinson is the Faculty Director.