Southwestern Law School

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

Southwestern is committed to increasing access to quality legal education. Southwestern hosts an annual Diversity Day event where LGBTQ students can connect with professors and our Southwestern community. We have scholarships specifically for our LGBTQ+ students, and we also send staff and students to the Lavender Law Conference and the LSAC LGBTQIA Equality Conference.

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

There is a section on student organizations that lists the student groups and other resources such as the Counseling Center to support LGBTQ+ students and other students of color and/or minorities.

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

Students can opt to be called by their name of choice in class by Professors and on attendance sheets. There is a post-enrollment name change form.

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

We have three institutional scholarships available specifically for our LGBTQ+ students.

The Daniel Aragon Scholarship: Established by Daniel Aragon ’97 to support continuing students with financial need who are active members of the Gay and Lesbian Association at Southwestern.

The Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Law Students Association Scholarship Fund: A fund was established by this Southwestern student organization to provide scholarships for deserving gay, lesbian and bisexual students at the law school.

The Robyn Mellender Memorial Scholarship Fund: This fund was established in memory of Robyn Mellender ’04 and provides assistance to LGBT students at Southwestern.

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.

Through our Dean of Students and Diversity Affairs’ Office, Career Services Office, and Student Affairs Office, we have funded students and staff to travel to attend the Lavender Law Conference, as well as the LSAC LGBTQIA Equality Conference.

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

Southwestern Law School’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is part of its long standing mission.  Recruitment efforts for staff including advertising on several platforms in an effort to reach a diverse pool of qualified applicants.  Platforms include LinkedIn, Simplicity, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and various listservs.

Southwestern has been committed to academic diversity since its founding in 1911. Our commitment to diversity in faculty, students and staff remains a top priority for us today. With respect to faculty, we have taken special care to note all diversity resumes that have been submitted through formal channels, such as the AALS process, or placement bulletins. But we have also recruited through more informal channels. We have called on individual faculty members to reach out to members of federal, state, and local bar associations who come from historically underrepresented communities and show promise as law teachers, and encourage them to apply for faculty positions.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
8
Lesbian
3
Gay
4
Bisexual
1
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
We do not currently have this data/info.
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

From our health-care/insurance provider:

Aetna complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. Aetna does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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

Will email policy

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

Here is the policy from our health-care insurance provider:

Aetna does offer transition-related benefits for transgender/transitioning employees.

  •  Counseling
  • Hormone therapy
  • Surgical

Please see the link below.
http://www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/600_699/0615.html

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):

Will email policy

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?
Yes
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.)?

There is a Gender Neutral sign on designated 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

Women and the Law

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. Please see our Non-Discrimination Policy, page 50, Sexual Misconduct Policy Part A.

Excerpt from our Non-Discrimination Policy:

“It is the policy of Southwestern Law School (“Southwestern” or the “Law School”) to maintain an environment for students, faculty, administrators, staff, and visitors that is free of all forms of discrimination and harassment, including sexual misconduct. The Law School has enacted this Sexual Misconduct Policy (the “Policy”) to reflect and maintain its institutional values and community expectations, to provide for fair and equitable procedures for determining when this Policy has been violated, and to provide recourse for individuals and the community in response to violations of this Policy.

This Policy prohibits all forms of sexual or gender-based discrimination, harassment, and misconduct, including sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking. This Policy also prohibits retaliation against a person who reports, complains about, or who otherwise participates in good faith in, any matter related to this Policy. All of the foregoing conduct shall be referred to as “Prohibited Conduct”.

Southwestern does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational, extracurricular, or other programs or in the context of employment. Sex discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law that provides:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Sexual harassment is also prohibited under Title IX, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, and other applicable statutes. This Policy prohibits sexual harassment against Southwestern community members of any sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in the context of education or employment. This Policy also prohibits gender-based harassment that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

The law school strongly encourages all members of our community to take action to maintain and facilitate a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment on campus. In particular, the law school expects that all Southwestern community members will take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop Prohibited Conduct. The Law School strongly supports individuals who choose to take such action and will protect such individuals from retaliation.

Upon receipt of a report, the Law School will take prompt and equitable action to eliminate the Prohibited Conduct (if any), prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects. In addition, the Law School will fulfill its obligations under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”) amendments to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) in response to reported Prohibited Conduct. The Law School ’s process for investigating and responding to reported Prohibited Conduct are contained in the following appendices: Appendix A (Grievance Process); Students who are found to have violated this Policy may face disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Southwestern also prohibits other forms of discrimination and harassment, including discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, religious belief, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Such prohibited conduct is addressed in other Law School policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on protected status (other than sex or gender).

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:

At Southwestern, it is our mission to foster diversity and inclusion. We take pride in our vibrant community of students, staff, and faculty from all walks of life, and we strive to be as supportive as possible to our LGBTQ+ community.

Here are all the additional ways our law school provides a welcoming, safe and inclusive learning environment to our LGBTQ+ community :

  • We are proud to have one of our very own students, Matthew French, serve as the Vice Chair of the Southwest and Southern California for the LGBT Bar Association’s Law Student Congress.
  • As a show of support to our LGBTQ+ students and faculty, we have designed our own pride month school logo.
  • Our LGBTQ+ student group, OUTLaw is active on campus and supported/sponsored by Professor John Heilman, a City Council Member and former 8-time Mayor of West Hollywood.
    (You can check out our Q&A with Professor Heilman for Pride Month here: https://www.swlaw.edu/swlawblog/201806/qa-professor-john-heilman-pride-month)
  • We have a whole week dedicated to Diversity in which our LGBTQ+ students are celebrated as part of our larger community.
  • We have a Diversity and Inclusion Committee that is comprised of faculty, staff, AND students.
  • Southwestern Law School has been recognized for our commitment to diversity and has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity for the past 5 years. This award was presented to Southwestern based on the law school’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community. This is one of many awards in recognition for our commitment to diversity. You can find more here: https://www.swlaw.edu/student-life/diversity
  • There is 24/7 security on campus to ensure the safety of all of our students.

Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan

UHCSR – Gender-Dysphoria-Treatment Policy