CUNY School of Law

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 recruit wide diversity in our entering classes from the LGBTQ+ community.  The only event that we’ve found that specifically targets this community is Lavender Law Information Session and Reception, which was unfortunately postponed.  We also speak openly about the kind of environment we have here that is welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community from our faculty, staff and students, to non-gendered restrooms; we embrace diversity and humanity of all kinds. This becomes apparent by simply walking the halls at CUNY 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?
No

All of our student groups (including OUTLaws, our LGBTQ+ identity group and our identity groups for students of color and others) are listed on our website.  None of our student groups are mentioned in our admitted students’ welcome packet.

3. Does your school offer students the option to self-identify as LGBTQ+ in admissions applications or post-enrollment forms?
Yes
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 use student’s preferred name for all mailings that are not required to be legal names and our staff understands the relationship between identity and former records. We offer students the opportunity to indicate “preferred” name for rosters.

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

The scholarships we offer are open to all.  Every applicant is evaluated for possible scholarship and, while diversity is one of several factors considered, we do not limit scholarships to a particular population.

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.

The law school does provide support for travel and conference fee related support. This funding is for any career related conference that any student, LGBTQ included, may request or is actively involved in either as presenters or chapter members. The funding is limited and will usually be partial for any expense that is $100 or more.  One example is the LGBTQ legal career fair held in the NYC area–we helped to cover the costly registration fee for a student. We will continue to publicize the availability of such funding to LGBTQ and other groups on campus.

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

Statement of Non-Discrimination:

The City University of New York School of Law is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Institution.  The School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, unemployment status, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state and city laws. The City University of New York School of Law is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Institution.  The School of Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, transgender, disability, genetic predisposition or carrier status, alienage or citizenship, veteran or marital status in its student admissions, employment, access to programs, and administration of educational policies.

Policy on Diversity

The Law School is a public institution, committed to fostering respect for the rich diversity of our community, our city, our state, our nation, and, indeed, the world.  To that end, the Law School has adopted the following:
THE FACULTY AND STAFF OF CUNY SCHOOL OF LAW BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP CREATE A BAR THAT IS MORE DIVERSIFIED, AND MORE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FULL RANGE OF

PEOPLE THAT MAKE UP NEW YORK CITY AND THE UNITED STATES.  ACCORDINGLY, WE ACTIVELY SEEK TO RECRUIT, EMPLOY, RETAIN, PROMOTE, AND TRAIN STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF OF ALL RACES, NATIONAL ORIGINS, CLASSES, AND BELIEF SYSTEMS, WITHOUT REGARD TO SEX OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, GENDER EXPRESSION OR TO AGE OR MARITAL OR PARENTAL STATUS.  THIS COMMITMENT IS REFLECTED IN ALL THAT WE DO, BEGINNING WITH OUR ADMISSIONS POLICIES: WE LOOK AT THE WHOLE APPLICANT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BROAD AND INCLUSIVE CRITERIA APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK.

If so, please detail how and where recruitment efforts are directed.

The Chief Diversity Officers approves search plans, which includes a wide variety of job sites, to help ensure that we reach a diverse and qualified pool of applicants. The plan includes the hiring manager, search chair, and search committee which works to ensure diversity. For example, there is a specific listserv designed to attract LGBTQ faculty, staff and administrators.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
There are 11 out L, G, B, T, Q faculty members out of 51 employed at the law school, of whom 3 are faculty of color.
How many out LGBTQ+ faculty of color does your institution currently employ in total?
3
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
There are 10 out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators out of 151 employed at the law school, of whom 2 are staff/administrators of color.
How many out LGBTQ+ staff members/administrators of color does your institution currently employ in total?
2
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

Yes, CUNY offers a range of health plans to all employees. The option of several HMOs, PPOs, and POSs is provided through the City of New York. Information about plans and rates are available online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/olr/html/home/home.shtml. Benefits including health insurance, family medical leave, parental leave, and nontraditional family planning such as in vitro fertilization and/or adoptive benefits are available to all employees on equal terms.   Same-sex couples who are married or in registered domestic partnerships are provided the same benefits that are provided to different-sex married or registered domestic partner couples.

11. Does your law school offer the aforementioned health benefits to students and their same-sex spouses/partners?
No
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

CUNY Law does not offer health benefits to our students. We do have a part-time nurse practitioner on staff and our LGBTQ students have access to that service. We do not offer that service to our students’ families or partners.

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

All health benefits are provided through the City University of New York, and employees have several HMOs, PPOs, and POSs to choose from.  Counseling, hormone therapy, and transgender reassignment surgery are covered by our health insurance plans if prescribed by a physician.

13. Does your school offer the same transition-related healthcare benefits to students and their partners/spouses?
No
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here (or you may email a copy of your policy to rishell@lgbtbar.org):

Same as answer listed on question #11. The nurse practitioner does not offer specifically transition-related health benefits, but our transgender or transitioning students have access to the nurse practitioner who may be able to assist in transition-related issues.

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

The law school has a full-time, licensed (MSW) social worker on our Student Affairs staff. She is available for all students for counseling and therapy services. The NYC Bar Association also offers mental health counseling through their Lawyers Assistance Program. This is available to all law students and their families.

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?
Yes

This year we held two required diversity, inclusion, and anti-oppression trainings for faculty and staff that incorporates LGBTQ+ focus. We also offered several workshops for students, faculty and staff focused exclusively on LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination and inclusion.
This spring semester we will present a training program for students, faculty, and staff on understanding gender diversity and creating an inclusive environment for transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) people. This is being funded by a Grant provided to the law school by LaGuardia College for projects highlighting the LGBTQ Community.

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.)?

The law school has gender-inclusive restrooms throughout the building. There is a single occupancy all-gender restroom on every floor, and the locations of these are noted on the school map. Additionally, all of the restrooms on the third floor are all-gender restrooms. The signage outside each of these restrooms states either “gender-neutral restroom” or “all-gender restroom.”

All other gender specific bathroom signage includes the following language, “Gender diversity is welcomed here; please use the restroom that best fits your gender identity or expression”. In addition, there are signs posted in the gender-inclusive restrooms educating users about the importance of gender inclusive restrooms.

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

While the entire law school curriculum addresses a variety of human rights issues from an intersectional perspective that very likely implicate LGBTQ+ issues, there are certain courses that focus more directly on these topics. These courses include: Law in the Family Relations (LFR), Sexuality and the Law, Liberty, Equality and Due Process (LEDP), Family Law Practice Clinic and the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic (HRGJ).

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

Yes. We have a large and robust student group, Outlaws, which hosts a number of events each year, such as know your rights trainings and Name Change and ID Training, in conjunction with outside organizations. This year members from Outlaws are working with administration on gender diversity training via a funded grant from LaGuardia Community College and marching in the Queens Pride Parade.

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 – this is listed in our Student Handbook.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

It is the policy of The City University of New York—applicable to all colleges and units— to recruit, employ, retain, promote, and provide benefits to employees and to admit and provide services for students without discriminating on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, pregnancy, status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, unemployment status, caregiver or familial status, prior record of arrest or conviction, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state and city laws. This policy is set forth in CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination.

CUNY’s Policy on Sexual Misconduct prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, gender harassment and sexual violence. Inquiries concerning sexual misconduct or sex discrimination may be made to the individuals specified in that Policy or may be referred to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

It is also the University’s policy to provide reasonable accommodations and academic adjustments, when appropriate, to individuals with disabilities, individuals observing religious practices, individuals who have pregnancy or childbirth-related medical conditions and victims of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses. The process for addressing these issues is set forth in CUNY’s Procedures for Implementing Reasonable Accommodations and Academic Adjustments.

Retaliation for reporting or opposing discrimination, cooperating with an investigation of a discrimination complaint, or requesting an accommodation or academic adjustment is also prohibited.
To access CUNY’s Policy and Procedures on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination, Policy on Sexual Misconduct, and Procedures for Implementing Reasonable Accommodations and Academic Adjustments, please visit these links:

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy <pdf>
Sexual Misconduct Policy <pdf>
Implementing Reasonable Accommodations and Academic Adjustments

The following people have been designated at CUNY School of Law to handle inquiries and complaints relating to CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination and Policy on Sexual Misconduct and to ensure compliance with CUNY’s Procedures for Implementing Reasonable Accommodations and Academic Adjustments:

Professor Raquel Gabriel
Title IX Coordinator
Room 6-117
(718) 340-4249

Patricia Kennedy
Interim Chief Diversity Officer
504/ADA Coordinator
Room 5-115
(718) 340-4380

Liz Palombo, Esq.
Director of Student Affairs
CUNY School of Law
718-340-4562

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:

Our students, faculty and staff are members of the LGBTQ+ community and thus we understand how important it is to create a safe welcoming environment here. Safety and inclusion happen because there is understanding and identity. There is the ability to speak in class from our own perspectives and there is the acceptance of how family has many forms. The LGBTQ+ community here is not other, it is not exceptional, but rather a part of our norm. Restrooms and student groups aside, and we have them, LGBTQ+ students can study law here without feeling ostracized or alienated because they can feel how they have long since been part of the fabric of CUNY Law’s student body, staff, faculty and administration. We have included non-binary gender options on our application and regularly distribute and have available pronoun buttons.

In terms of inclusion, we offer a curriculum integrated across numerous courses that address issues of sexuality and gender identity. Furthermore, our various clinics have and currently represent LGBTQ clients which again, speaks to our aim to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment. For 25 years, CUNY Law’s Mississippi Project has sent law students to Greenville, Mississippi to provide crucial human rights advocacy in collaboration with the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights. Through organizing, litigation, public education, and leadership trainings, the Center combats racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression and discrimination in employment, housing, and voting. Notably, the Center has joined with members of our LGBTQ community to advocate for a powerful resolution in opposition to the state’s draconian laws denying equal protection to same sex couples.

As for events, we strive to offer many – which are co-sponsored by numerous organizations – for the students, staff, and faculty. One of our student organizations, OUTLaws, hosts a number of events like, Walking While Trans, Trans Day of Remembrance, Gaymers Night, Narcan Training, and many more events throughout the course of the calendar year for their peers within our community. Just recently, we hosted a celebration of the opening of our multi-stalled all-gender bathrooms that included educational components and through our partnership with LaGuardia Community college, we had a photo exhibition entitled, The Lavender Line, displayed on our first floor windows chronicling the history of the LGBTQ movement in Queens, NY. Lastly, each December, the CUNY School of Law hosts the International Outsummit (https://outsummit.org/speakers-2018/). These are just some examples of how we engage our LGBTQ+ community.

We take tremendous pride in knowing that students, staff, and faculty alike have a wide variety of opportunities for mentoring, friendships, internships, and employment.