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

Northeastern University School of Law provides numerous opportunities for LGBTQ+ students to participate in conferences, networking events, and career fairs focused on their specific needs and interests.  The law school also has internship (co-op) relationships with leading LGBTQ+  legal organizations.

Examples of support for LGBTQ+ include:  (1) the Center for Co-op and Career Development covers the cost of student memberships to the National LGBT Bar Association, with no cap on the number of students who can join (2) the law school purchases a table each year at the Massachusetts LGBT Bar Association dinner, a premier networking event.  This allows 8-10 students annually to attend the event and make important career connections, (3) the law school also purchases tickets each year so that students can attend GLAD’s Spirit of Justice Dinner, another premier networking event for LGBTQ+ law students, (4) co-op internship opportunities regularly available to our upper-level law students include:  the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the National LGBT Task Force, GLAD, NCLR, ACLU (various locations and projects), and a number of LGBT-focused estate planning and family law firms.  Stipend funding is available for unpaid public interest co-ops, (5) Lastly, each year several of our upper-level students attend the Lavender Law Conference.  Northeastern University has some funds available to law and other graduate students to help defray the costs of travel to job fairs such as Lavender Law, although students often do have to contribute as well depending on the location and costs.

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
  1. In each of our job postings, we include the following information:
    • “Northeastern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Educational Institution and Employer, Title IX University. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by the law.”
  2. We also actively encourage members of the LGBTQ+ community to apply to our positions by including additional language in our job postings. For example, a recent position says the following:
    • “We encourage applications from racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community. We also encourage applicants to share how their background and experience will contribute to the Northeastern community and how they have handled working and succeeding in diverse environments.”
  3. We also work with our contracted recruitment advertising agency to find candidates. This may include posting on fee based LGBTQ+ specific websites such as LGBTinHigherEd.com.
8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
6 (12% of the law faculty)
Lesbian
2
Gay
2
Bisexual
1
Queer
1
How many out LGBTQ+ faculty of color does your institution currently employ in total?
1
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
9 (15% of law school administration)
Lesbian
3
Bisexual
1
Transgender
1
Queer
2
Other
2
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

Northeastern offers Domestic Partner coverage for those that qualify. Eligibility is found on the domestic partner certification form (https://www.northeastern.edu/hrm/pdfs/2016boe/DomesticPartnerCertificationForm.pdf). For qualifying members, family medical leave and parental leave is available. Under the paid parental leave benefit, an eligible parent is considered a biological parent, spouse, or domestic partner of a person who has given birth to a child, or an adoptive parent or foster parent of a newly placed child (https://www.northeastern.edu/policies/pdfs/Policy_on_Paid_Parental_Leave.pdf).

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

Yes, as it applies to students. More information on Healthcare resources for students can be found at https://studentlife.northeastern.edu/lgbtqa/resources/healthcare/.

Plan information is located at  http://www.northeastern.edu/nushp/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/NUSHP-2018-19-Plan-Document.pdf. This includes information on domestic partners (p75), gender reassignment surgery (p25), and covered drugs and supplies (p48).

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

In compliance with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance Bulletin regarding Transgender Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) provides several gender confirming options to those whom they insure.

Generally, all treatment and services provided under a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder will require prior authorization by a third-party licensed medical provider to verify that the treatment or service is medically necessary. All BCBSMA medical plans available from Northeastern will cover hormone replacement therapy, but levels of coverage will vary depending on which plan you are enrolled in and which method of HRT you choose. Generally, coverage is provided under the standard prescription coverage found in the Member portal on bluecrossma.com.

BCBSMA lists all available surgical gender confirmation procedures at (https://www.bluecrossma.com/common/en_US/medical_policies/189%20Transgender%20Services%20prn.pdf). More information can also be obtained on the LGBTQA+ Faculty and Staff Website http://www.northeastern.edu/oidi/resources/affinity-groups/lgbtqa/.

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):

The Northeastern University Student Health Plan is administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. and thus falls under the supporting information provided in question 12.
Northeastern University also partners with Fenway Health, a local LGBTQ+ focused Community Health Center. This is a nationally recognized health center that provides students enrolled in our health plan with discounts on co-pays and extended services not normally covered at other health care facilities. More information on this partnership can be found at https://studentlife.northeastern.edu/lgbtqa/resources/healthcare/.

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?
No
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.)?

“All Gender Restroom” is indicated on signage.  Directions for locating all gender restrooms are online here:  http://www.northeastern.edu/oidi/resources/facilities/gender-neutral-bathrooms/

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, Gender & the Law
  • Human Rights Seminar:  Race, Gender, & Culture
  • Reproductive and Sexual Rights & Health
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?

All members of the community are strongly encouraged to report any incidents of discrimination or bias.

The University’s Bias Incident protocol identifies both Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation as protected categories.

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:

The School of Law has a Trans Justice Taskforce which consists of faculty, staff and student representatives charged with advocating for transgender members of our community.  The Taskforce identifies issues requiring administrative attention and works with appropriate offices to help improve services and access for transgender students.  The Taskforce is also responsible for providing trainings to faculty and staff as needed and address current issues affecting transgender students.

The Queer Caucus student organization holds an annual breakfast for 1L LGBTQ+ students with law school faculty and administrators.  The QC students facilitate a discussion among the 1L students, faculty and staff, and the space is confidential so that not-out and questioning students can attend without concern.  The breakfast offers an informal opportunity for LGBTQ+ students to connect with faculty and staff in a supportive environment.

The School of Law offers diversity trainings to both faculty and staff on a biennial basis and incorporates additional trainings as needed when issues arise that require special attention or refresher trainings.  All standard diversity trainings incorporate LGBTQ+ curricula.  For example, in our most recent mandatory staff training, a significant portion of the training focused on supporting transgender students and attendees were required to break into small groups to practice accurate pronoun usage.

Last year, the School of Law hosted the Reach(OUT) LGBTQA+ Career Conference for law students in the Boston area.  The event focused on the perspectives and concerns of queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, intersex and asexual law students in preparation for co-op, internships and professional life in law and legal-related fields beyond campus. Students had the opportunity to hear from attorneys in various practice areas about topics such as navigating microaggressions, law firm culture and gender presentation, among other topics. Additionally, students had the opportunity to engage one-on-one with professionals in a networking session to further discuss questions related to preparing for and navigating professional working environments.