New York University School of Law is committed to building and sustaining an inclusive and diverse environment for its community of students, faculty, administrators, and staff.
The Office of JD Admissions carries out a number of recruitment initiatives and events for prospective, admitted, and incoming students who identify as LGBTQ+. The Admissions office works closely with our LGBTQ+ student affinity group – OUTLaw – to send a letter to prospective students educating students about our community and encouraging students to apply. Additionally, we hold information sessions at schools and invite LGBTQ+ student groups and individual LGBTQ+ prospective students to attend. In coordination with OUTLaw, we host an information session and student panel on our campus where we invite LGBTQ+ prospective students, undergraduate student groups, non-profits, and community centers that serve LGBTQ+ people in the New York City area to attend.
For admitted student recruitment, we organize e-mail and phone outreach from OUTLaw to LGBTQ+ admitted students. We also invite admitted students to attend OUTLaw’s annual reception. During our three Admitted Students Days programs, OUTLaw participates in our Student Organizations and Journals Fair, serves as Admissions Ambassadors for tours and programming, and hosts student dinners. E-mail and phone outreach from OUTLaw to LGBTQ+ incoming students is ongoing during the summer months to continue to engage students.
Our Office of JD Admissions creates packets and programming for our Admitted Students Days. This year’s welcome packets will include a name tag with the student’s preferred name, information about bathroom facilities, a list of student organizations, and invitations to various programming. Programming includes a Student Organizations and Journals Fair where students have the opportunity to learn about various campus activities and dinners with organizations after the fair. Organizations such as First Generations Professionals, OUTLaw, Coalition on Law and Representation, Students for the Education and Representation of Veterans, Women of Color Collective, APALSA, BALSA, LaLSA, and SALSA are typically in attendance.
Our students have the option to self-identify as LGBTQ+ in our admissions application. Additionally, our Office of JD Admissions worked with OUTLaw to update our 2019 application to allow applicants to identify as non-binary and to more easily identify applicants who identify as transgender.
We provide an opportunity for all applicants to list preferred name on our application, which we then use for all subsequent communications with candidates.
In recognition of one of our distinguished alumni – Chief Judge Judith Kaye – NYU School of Law provides a scholarship to support students interested in pursuing issues surrounding LGBTQ+ rights.
New York University School of Law provides funding for OUTLaw to host admitted students for dinner during our three Admitted Students Days programs.
Additionally, we provide funding for our students to attend the annual Lavender Law conference and job fair.
NYU School of Law actively seeks to employ diverse staff, faculty, and administrators. Employment positions are posted to a variety of outlets, including sites targeting racial and ethnic minorities, persons of all sexual orientations or gender identities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. In addition to widely publicizing the position, other outreach and recruitment efforts may include attending job fairs and career events, contacting professional associations and community-based organizations, and participating in mentoring programs.
Students may opt for voluntary benefits to cover dependents, including domestic partners.
NYU School of Law offers transition-related health benefits to transgender and/or transitioning employees.
Coverage is limited to counseling/therapy.
All students at the law school have access to counseling and/or therapy services.
NYU requires new employees to complete training on discrimination and harassment. NYU will be requiring annual training on these issues. Additional training is offered through NYU’s Office of Equal Opportunity for all supervisors.
There are a number of other training programs offered in which administrators and staff are encouraged to participate. Administrators and staff have gone through training around unconscious bias, various elements of diversity (including sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability and mental health), and inclusion.
NYU Law provides gender-inclusive restrooms in our buildings through the use of single-use restrooms and through inclusive signage outside non-single stall restrooms. The signage makes clear all individuals are welcome to use the restroom that is consistent with their gender identity.
At NYU Law, course offerings cover a wide range of topics to provide students with the opportunity for interdisciplinary intellectual dialogue, first-hand lawyering, clinical experiences, and a global approach to the study of law. We offer a number of classes related to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as classes that – while not expressly aimed at LGBTQ+ individuals – address issues of orientation, gender, discrimination, civil liberties, and other related issues. An illustrative, but not exhaustive list of classes includes:
- LGBTQ Rights Externship
- Current Issues in Civil Liberties
- Sexuality, Gender and the Law
- Free Speech, Ethical Transformation, and Social Change: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
- Constitutional Law
NYU School of Law has an active, visible LGBTQ+ law student group that is supported by the school. OUTLaw is an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer law students, as well as their supporters and friends. Throughout the year, OUTLaw sponsors activities, panels, social events, service projects, and political actions that bring members of our community together and provide a lasting network of support for LGBTQ+ students and graduates of the Law School.
The group’s mission encompasses political, educational, social, and familial goals and the group works to support LGBTQ+ positive policies and legislation, to educate the community about LGBTQ+ issues, and to promote LGBTQ+ visibility on campus and in the public consciousness at NYU School of Law and at large.
New York University School of Law is committed to maintaining a community free of bias in which all members feel safe and respected. Where a student believes there has been a bias incident, there are formal and informal ways to address. NYU does have a non-discrimination and anti-harassment policy and accompanying complaint procedures. The policy does specifically identify sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression.
NYU School of Law has long recognized that a plurality of perspectives is a source of strength for individuals, as well as for institutions, and is proud of its longstanding history of diversity and inclusion. Not content to rest on its laurels, NYU Law continues to engage the diversity and inclusion of the Law School and the profession more generally. Investing additional energy and resources into developing a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable legal community is a core tenet of the Law School’s strategic plan.
We have undertaken a range of efforts to ensure that the Law School is a diverse and inclusive learning community. Faculty have engaged in peer-led small group discussions concerning best practices for addressing diversity and social and societal context in the classroom. Using a software system, students have the option of specifying their preferred pronouns for professor use in classroom seating charts.
The Law School’s Inclusion & Diversity Committee (IDC) has engaged in a multi-year project to address a broad range of diversity-related issues on campus. The Committee’s mission is to foster and support diversity in all respects, with special attentiveness to groups historically or currently under-represented in the law or in leadership in the legal profession, including on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, and mental or physical disability. Specifically, as regards the faculty, staff, administrators, and students of NYU Law, the IDC aims to ensure that diverse groups are represented and supported, and diverse viewpoints are heard and respected. The IDC has worked to pay structural attention to student climate issues, including peer-to-peer and classroom interactions; to give attention to academic opportunity and success, including teaching assistant and research assistant opportunities, extracurricular activities, honors and awards, and student advising; to support sustained attention to diversity in faculty hiring, student admissions and recruitment; to identify and rectify any recurring sources of conflict on issues of inclusion, and to strategically advise the Dean, vice deans, and heads of faculty committees on issues of diversity and inclusion.
The school hired its first Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion who works with the Inclusion and Diversity Committee, collaborates with the Office of Student Affairs, acts as a resource for faculty, and serves as a thought partner and strategic advisor to the community at large.
Inclusion has been at the forefront of new student orientation, emphasizing that inclusion is a core community value. Through programming and events, students are introduced to some of the ways diversity and identity may arise in the coursework and class discussions.
To enrich the intellectual life and contribute to thought leadership on inclusion, NYU Law has launched three new centers focused on advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity: The Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law, and the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network. These centers signal to the Law School community and the world the centrality of these issues to our intellectual life. They also provide new and expanded opportunities for students to engage in legal work, attend conferences and events, and seek out training in these areas.
While this list is not exhaustive, it does provide some illustrative examples of how the school is working to be inclusive and welcoming to all.
NYU Law places tremendous value on being a community whose diversity reflects the broader world and where students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds feel equally able to benefit from our resources and the richness of our intellectual life. We are proud of our achievements and look forward to seeking ways to continue to improve upon our successes across the entire institution.