Stetson University College of Law

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

Stetson embraces all aspects of diversity. With global citizenship and social justice among our core values, we invest considerable effort recruiting a diverse student body, including students from the LGBTQ+ community. Stetson Law has openly gay and lesbian faculty and staff, and LGBTQ+ students are active leaders in all areas of student life. The Office of Admissions and Student Financial Planning actively identifies and successfully recruits nationally members of the LGBTQ+ community to consider Stetson Law for their legal education.

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

As part of our admitted student engagement through an admitted student portal, Organizational Leadership from LAMBDA Legal Society (LGBTQ+ student organization), BLSA (Black Law Student Association), HBA (Hispanic Bar Association), AALSA (Asian-American Law Student Association), FAWLS Florida Association of Women Lawyers) and others, all post welcome and organization overviews to admitted students. Student Organization leaders are encouraged and participate in discussion boards with admitted students. In addition, admitted student portals promote diversity organizations and accolades through links and videos highlighting Stetson Law’s efforts embracing diversity and inclusion. The updates include events occurring over the summer prior to enrollment, including the St. Petersburg Pride Parade. Students who self-identify in their applications are also matched up and connected with members of the LAMBDA Legal Society and LGBTQ+ members of the faculty.

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

The Stetson Law school application has a gender question, which is optional, for applicants to either not respond or select “other” or transgender, as well as male or female options.

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

As part of our application for admission, there is an option to have a “preferred first name” consideration for incoming students. For current students, our campus-wide CRM allows students to update their “name of choice” on post-enrollment forms.

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

Stetson Law offers an annual Pride Scholarship awarded each year to a graduating student who has contributed greatly to both the Stetson Law LGBTQ+ community and the community at large.

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.

All students while attending Stetson Law are eligible for the Professional Development Travel Fund of up to $500.00 per event, and up to a maximum of $1000.00/student during their enrolled period in law school, to attend professional development opportunities. LGBTQ+ students have attended Lavender Law, which is an annual national conference and job fair for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Stetson students have worked on service projects for Equality Florida and the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas County, and others have interned at LGBTQIA advocacy organizations including LAMBDA Legal Society.

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

Stetson University is an Equal Opportunity Employer that affirms cultural diversity and inclusion as a core value of academic excellence. We are committed to achieving equal access in education, employment, and participation through the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds, and to meaningful academic and intellectual transformation in curriculum, research and service. We are dedicated to actions and policies that foster a community in which individuals with various identities, cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints work together to create opportunities for engagement through rewarding and fulfilling careers and personal experiences in a culturally and racially diverse society and a globalized world.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
To our knowledge, three faculty are members of the LGBTQ+ community.
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
To our knowlege, one administrator is a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
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

Stetson Law offers Fringe Benefits – to promote a healthy and effective campus community, the University will strive to provide a fringe benefit program that addresses the health care, retirement, and personal development concerns of the campus community to the fullest extent practicable within the budget adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Stetson University is committed to the equitable availability of family benefits and privileges among both married employees and those employees living in certified domestic partnerships. Therefore, benefits are available to employees living in certified domestic partnerships in accordance with eligibility guidelines.

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

Not available.

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

Stetson University is concerned for the welfare of all employees and their dependents and acknowledges that employees may, upon occasion, need to request leaves of absence for a variety of medical or family reasons. The Family Medical and Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for a certain family and medical leaves. Eligible employees may be granted up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period for one of the following reasons: the employee’s own serious health condition.

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):

Not available to students.

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

Our Mental Health Counseling Services supports the mission and values of Stetson University and that of the Office of Student Affairs by providing proactive, responsive and effective counseling services for our students. Our on-campus counselor promotes the holistic wellness, self-exploration and personal growth of our students through confidential counseling, outreach and programming, consultation, crisis response, and connection with campus and community partners. Our Mental Health counselor is committed to providing ethical, competent and current services consistent with national best practices in professional counseling. Our services continually meet the changing needs of our growing and diversifying student population while helping to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and help-seeking behavior. We are proud to provide professional counseling services, at no cost, to our College of Law students.

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

Diversity and Inclusion Training is provided bi-annually for staff/faculty and administrators, and while not mandatory, it is strongly recommended for all College of Law staff, administrators and faculty to attend.

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.)?

Gender-inclusive restrooms are available in several locations on campus. The gender-inclusive restrooms have prominent signage outside each restroom door that clearly notates an “All Gender Restroom – anyone can use this restroom regardless of gender identity or expression.”

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

Stetson offers a number of courses related to gender and sexuality issues, including:

• Law and Sexual Orientation

• Constitutional Law and the Civil Rights Movement

• Feminist Jurisprudence

• Family Law

• Adoption Law

• Reproductive Technology and the Law

• Employment Discrimination

• International Law of Human Rights

One of the pioneers in the field of lesbian jurisprudence, Ruthann Robson ’79, is a member of the Stetson University College of Law Hall of Fame and former visiting professor at Stetson.

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

The Lambda Legal Society at Stetson provides a forum to explore the legal issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The organization welcomes students of any sexual orientation interested in raising awareness of the issues attorneys deal with for the increasing number of gay and lesbian clients who seek legal protection. Lambda works with Stetson to provide a safe, supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students and allies.

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?

The Student Code of Conduct states that students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that supports the College of Law’s educational mission. This includes acting in a professional, dignified, and respectful manner. Additional categories of misconduct that could result in disciplinary action against a student include violating the College of Law’s sexual harassment policy, or harassing or discriminating against members of the College of Law community, or others associated with the College of Law, based on a person’s race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status.

In addition, the College of Law enacted a Student Concern and Complaint Policy – This administrative policy provides a process by which students may make suggestions or raise concerns or complaints in a constructive manner. The process should be viewed as potentially positive for all parties and should, as far as possible, be managed to achieve a positive outcome.

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:

Stetson students helped successfully advocate for the City of Gulfport, home of the law school, to pass a human rights ordinance protecting citizens from being denied services based on sexuality. Gulfport was the first city in Pinellas County, Florida to create a domestic partnership registry to extend legal rights related to health care and dependent education to domestic partners.

LGBTQ+ students are involved in every facet of student life, including the Student Bar Association, Stetson Law Review, our award-winning advocacy boards, and a number of other organizations. Stetson students have worked on service projects for Equality Florida and the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, and others have interned at LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations.