Santa Clara Law

1. Does your law school intentionally seek out LGBTQ+ prospective students?
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?
3. Does your school offer students the option to self-identify as LGBTQ+ in admissions applications or post-enrollment forms?

Yes, in the application for admissions.  We have had faculty call admitted candidates personally.

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. We ask for preferred name.

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

Yes. Every year the law school sponsors current students to attend the LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law Conference.

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

“Inclusive Faculty & Staff Recruitment and Hiring
Advancing inclusive excellence is a campus-wide goal reflected in Santa Clara’s Jesuit values and traditions.  As stated in the Fundamental Values of the University’s Strategic Plan, “We cherish our diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni, a community that is enriched by people of different backgrounds, respectful of the dignity of all its members, enlivened by open communication, and caring and just toward others.”  To further this value, Goal 5 of the Strategic Plan prompts the University to “recruit and graduate a broadly diverse community of highly talented students.”  Simultaneously, the University recognizes that simply admitting more diverse students is not enough.  Research has emphasized the importance of faculty composition in maximizing the benefits of racial diversity in higher education for all students (Milem, 2001). Such an effort also furthers the University’s commitment to inclusive excellence.  As such, the University seeks to “recruit and retain outstanding faculty members whose teaching, research, and life experience enrich the diversity of Santa Clara’s academic community with respect to race, ethnicity, and gender” (Strategic Plan, Objective 5D).

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is available as a resource for any campus unit in administering both faculty/staff recruitment and hiring processes. ODI works collaboratively with Human Resources (HR) on the staff components. ODI has compiled a robust summary of best practices and effective strategies for inclusive faculty/staff recruitment and hiring based on a review of current initiatives and practices at Santa Clara, activities at other universities, and practices identified within the research literature. ODI is available for consultation at any time.

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) provides support for search committees, department chairs, hiring managers and deans engaged in faculty and staff searches. ODI works collaboratively with Human Resources (HR) with the staff components.

ODI support includes:

  • Consultation on best practice strategies for inclusive searches
  • Formal Inclusive Search training workshops for departments, search committees
  • Demographic statistics, availability analysis, and utilization/underutilization reports for area of search
  • Research into potential candidates from underrepresented groups (recent and forthcoming PhDs from targeted graduate programs, etc.) who could be contacted regarding upcoming or current searches
  • Assistance drafting proposals for Faculty searches (tenure, adjunct)
  • Assistance drafting inclusive search and recruitment plans
  • Participation in portion of interview process on request
  • ODI will work with academic units and Deans to support potential funding for the following initiatives:
  • informal visits to campus of potential candidates from underrepresented groups (e.g., bringing potential candidates to campus for research talks in years prior to searches)
  • sending additional faculty to conferences to attend talks by potential candidates from underrepresented groups (cost shared with dean)
  • bringing additional candidate to campus to enhance inclusion within the search (cost shared with dean)
  • other funding in support of inclusive searches may be available”


8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
10 full-time faculty
How many out LGBTQ+ faculty of color does your institution currently employ in total?
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
How many out LGBTQ+ staff members/administrators of color does your institution currently employ in total?
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?
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

“Regular full-time employees are eligible for benefits. An eligible employee is a member who works a minimum of 20 hours per week for the University. Your Benefits begin on the first date of the month coinciding with or following the 1st day of employment. Benefit plans currently include:

  • Medical Plan
  • Dental Plan
  • Vision Plan
  • Flexible Spending Plan (Section 125 Plan)
  • Employee Assistance Plan
  • Basic Life Insurance Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D)
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Short Term Disability Insurance
  • 401(a) and 403(b) Retirement Plans

For Eligible Dependents

Employees must complete and return their benefits enrollment paperwork to the Human Resources Department within 31 days of their eligibility for benefits. Please note, if you or your eligible dependents do not enroll in the plans within 31 days of your eligibility date, you will not be able to enroll until the next Open Enrollment Period. Please refer to the Summary Plan Document for more details.

Effective June 1, 2010 and due to the recently enacted health care reform measures, Eligible Dependents include your:

  • Spouse or Registered Domestic Partner
  • Dependent children, regardless of student status and marital status until they reach age 26
  • Unmarried dependent child of any age who is incapable of self-sustaining employment due to a mental or physical handicap.

For more detailed information, see the U.S. Health Care Reform Update (PDF 92KB).

Note: A child includes your adopted child, stepchild or recognized natural child.”


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

“All Graduate, Law and Jesuit School of Theology students in a degree seeking program who are enrolled in at least halftime in their school or college are automatically enrolled in this insurance plan at registration, unless proof of comparable coverage is furnished. . . Eligible students who do enroll may also insure their Dependents.  Eligible Dependents are the student’s legal spouse or Domestic Partner and dependent children under 26 years of age.  . . “


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

Waiting for complete answer from HR. Kaiser offers some services including transportation and housing when a surgery has to be performed outside of their service area. We are waiting to find out what Blue Shield offers. Will forward separately.

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

The school sponsored UnitedHealthcare insurance plan provides the same benefits and coverage for everyone enrolled in the plan regardless of student, dependent or partner.  Please note, enrollment into the insurance plan is not automatic for dependents.  Those students who are enrolled in the school’s plan must request the enrollment and pay the premium for their dependent or partner.

Transgender services are a covered benefit under the school sponsored UnitedHealthcare plan.

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?

Law students have access to the office of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) through the Cowell Center at Santa Clara University.

The mission of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is to support students and student learning by providing quality counseling services to students and consultation and outreach programs to the campus community.

CAPS is staffed by licensed psychologists, psychology trainees – pre-doctoral trainees and advanced practicum students – and a psychiatrist. All mental health providers are by appointment only and will address your needs in a sensitive, compassionate, confidential and holistic manner.

As well as our on-campus staff, CAPS offers assistance with referral to off-campus mental health professionals when you need, or prefer, long-term or specialty care. Please refer to our list of community referrals.


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?

SCU does not mandate diversity and inclusion training. There are many optional trainings, including: – Difficult Dialogues, Faculty Development Trainings, Safe Space Workshops and UndocuAlly Workshops. Safe Space Training is described as follows:

Santa Clara University affirms the right of all community members to live and learn in a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment. The Safe Space program enhances Santa Clara’s educational commitment to its students, faculty, and staff by improving the environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) members of our community. The LGBTQ+ Safe Space program gives Santa Clara University faculty and staff opportunities to deepen their knowledge about LGBTQ and gender issues, student identity development, and religion and sexuality, with the goals of:

  • Providing a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ members of the campus community
  • Creating visible safe spaces across the campus for LGBTQ+ members of the campus community
  • Creating and developing more Allies

The Safe Space program is conducted in partnership with the Office for Multicultural Learning (OML), which coordinates the Safe Space training for students.


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

Charney Hall, our only law school building, has 2 All-Gender Restrooms located on the 1st floor of the building.

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.)?
a. If so, please list course names
  • Gender and Law
  • Sexuality and the Law


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

EQ|SCU is an educational and support organization that provides educational and career resources, networking opportunities, and a social support system. The group also works to increase awareness of the concerns of bisexuals, gays, lesbians and transgender persons within the law school. We hold regular meetings, sponsor final exam review sessions, support activism, invite speakers to the law school, and represent Santa Clara Law at national and local LGBT legal conferences, and career fairs. We also serve as a bridge between current law students, LGBT law school alumni, and SF Bay Area LGBT legal professionals.

EQ|SCU is an active and vital part of Santa Clara Law. Our organization is concerned with the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons at the law school and was founded on the basis to bring greater awareness and acceptance of diversity at Santa Clara Law.

EQ|SCU’s goals are to increase outreach efforts to LGBT students, provide support to LGBT students, sponsor speakers on LGBT issues, develop ties with the larger civil rights community, and serve as an information source on LGBT legal issues for all students and the larger community.


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

“In response to student concerns about the University’s past response to bias and hate-motivated incidents, the Office of Student Life worked with students and staff to identify ways to improve the reporting of such incidents. Creating an improved reporting mechanism and developing an advocate program are the first steps in maintaining a respectful environment free from all forms of harassment, hostility, and violence.

What is a Bias Incident?

Santa Clara University defines a bias incident as any speech, act, or harassing action that targets, threatens, or attacks an individual or group because of its actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, age, religious creed, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, citizenship status, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, military or veteran status, or other status protected by law.

Report an Incident

The University needs you to report incidents of bias and hate-motivated behavior on campus in order to respond appropriately. For data collection purposes and to ensure full compliance with the Clery Act, you are encouraged to report all incidents, including graffiti, defaced posters or property, and verbal and physical attacks.
More information about the University’s Clery Act Compliance efforts can be found here.

Reporting Process

If a hate crime is in progress or just occurred, call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4444. Officers are available 24 hours a day.
Hate crimes are any incidents of larceny-theft, assault, intimidation, or destruction/damage/vandalism of property that were motivated by bias.

Report bias incidents in one of the following ways:

  • Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., contact the Office of Student Life at (408) 554-4583, and ask for a member of the Dean’s staff, or go to the Benson Memorial Center, Room 205.
  • Contact Campus Safety Services at (408) 554-4444. Any campus safety officer can take a report and forward it to the Office of Student Life.
  • If you are designated as a Campus Security Authority at the University under the Clery Act, you may also report a Bias incident that is NOT in progress or just occurred via the CSA Reporting form that can be found at
  • EthicsPoint ( is an online incident reporting tool that is available to Santa Clara University students, faculty, and staff to file incident reports of bias, discrimination and harassment.


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:
  • Santa Clara University recently completed a Climate Survey for the entire university.  The survey included questions about the comfort level and support experienced by LGBTQ community members.  The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has launched initiatives this month focusing on Diversity and inclusion, including the LGBTQ community.
  • Recognizing that the movement for LGBT recognition and inclusion is a casebook study in contemporary social justice law, The Center for Social Justice and Public Service offers a summer grant for law students interested in working in this area of law. The applicant should describe the nature of the intended work and how it might impact civil rights for LGBT members of society. Previous projects have ranged from domestic relations to transgender rights to traditional impact work at an LGBT nonprofit. Santa Clara law students who have completed at least one year of full-time or part-time study by the start of the summer fellowship are eligible for grants. Applicants must have arranged a full-time summer law position with an organization that does legal work on LGBT issues. Students who receive academic credit for a summer job are not eligible to receive a grant. (
  • The International Human Rights Clinic has worked for LGBT Rights in Jamaica and Colombia:
    • Drafted a sign-on letter to Jamaican Prime Minister expressing concern for recent violence against LGBT individuals in Jamaica and urging the decriminalization of consensual same-sex relations between adults.
    • Travelled to Jamaica during Spring Break 2013 to interview members of the LGBT community, as well as members of religious, academic, government, and civil society institutions.
    • Held a screening of the film “Abominable Crime” and discussed discrimination against LGBT individuals in Jamaica with the film’s director and a leading Jamaican activist and attorney.
    • Submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the petitioner in Duque v. Colombia – a case before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights involving same-sex pension rights in Colombia.
      ( )
  • The president of the EQ/SCU student organization is a member of the Law School Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and represents the views of this group to the committee made up of faculty, administration and students.
  • Professors in Legal Writing and in Appellate Advocacy courses have designed fact patters that address unsettled issues of law involving discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity.