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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not available to students.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.