Drake University Law School

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

The Drake admission office primarily addresses LGBTQIA+ recruitment on an individual basis.  When a prospective or admitted student self-identifies as LGBTQIA+ the admission office provides contact information for the president of our LGBT student organization and/or the faculty advisor.

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

Our “For Admitted Students” webpage https://www.drake.edu/law/future/admitted/  provides a link to all law school student organizations including an email contact for a student representative and links to each organization’s webpage or social media account(s) if applicable.  The Drake Law official LGBT student group, Outlaws, is included in this listing.  Outlaws will also send a welcome letter to admitted students who self-identify as LGBTQIA+. Admitted students who self-identify as LGBTQ+ are among those invited to a diversity reception at the beginning of each academic year.

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

Yes, students may self-identify as LGBTQIA+ on the Drake Law School application.

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

Admission application forms require names to match LSAT/LSAC registrations, however, our application does have a “preferred name” field for use in our communications.  Once enrolled, university policy offers students the option to use a preferred first name wherever legal name is not absolutely necessary.

After enrollment, we require students to signup for the Simplicity system handled by career services. In Simplicity, students are encouraged to update their preferred gender pronouns, and those options include “Mx.” We use Simplicity to do a post-enrollment check of pronouns, so that should the preferred pronouns not match registration records, the faculty of the student are notified and can use the preferred pronoun.

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

Drake Law School has an endowed scholarship specifically for LGBTQIA+ law students.  Drake awarded the scholarship for the first time in July 2018.

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.

In the career services area, the staff highlights and connects students to opportunities that are favorable to LGBTQIA students. They also connect LGBTQIA students to mentors in the legal community on request.

As for funding, Drake indirectly supports the official student group for LGBTQIA+ students, Outlaws, by providing funds to the Student Bar Association who then allocates those funds to official student groups based on their budgetary requests. The budgetary request of Outlaws can include funds to travel to LGBTQIA+ events, and a student did attend an LGBT themed law conference in St. Louis in Spring Semester 2015.

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

Yes. For most recent faculty recruitment, we posted the positions on the National LGBT Bar Association website.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
1
Lesbian
1
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
0
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
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

The University doesn’t offer health benefits to any student

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

Unfortunately, coverage for transgender services are not specifically addressed in the Insurance Summary Plan Description (SPD), which is common practice.  Following is verbiage provided by Wellmark regarding Drake’s benefit:

“There is Prior Authorization required for the transgender surgeries, but other services are covered without medical policy applications, which is why it is silent in the SPD.  Non-surgical related services are subject to medical necessity like any other services.”

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):

The University doesn’t offer health benefits to any student

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
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?
N/A

Our school does offer diversity and inclusion training which includes LGBT+ training, however the training 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.)?

The Law School provides gender-inclusive restrooms (with locks) in its buildings.  The signage identifies the restrooms as being available for any gender or person with access limitations.  The University’s office of Student Engagement Equity & Inclusion provides a campus map with these available locations to the LGBTQ community.

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

Sexuality and the Law offered Spring 2019, then rescheduled for Fall 2019

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

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:
  • A standing committee on diversity and inclusion;
  • An annual diversity week of events;
  • Faculty/staff training last year with Tony Tyler, director of student engagement equity and inclusion at Drake University, on LGBTQIA issues;
  • Many faculty who attended that training display “safe spaces” signs on their door; and
  • Had trans advocate Ellie Krug here Nov. 2016 to do talks on Trans 101, Being a Trans lawyer and a faculty/student/staff workshop on gray area thinking.