The Law School seeks to admit a diverse student body. For example, the Law School participates in LSAC’s PLUS program, which brings students from diverse backgrounds (including students who identify as LGBTQ+) to campus.
Information about specific resources, including student groups, is provided to individual applicants and admitted students by request. The Law School’s welcome packet for every admitted student includes a letter from the Law School’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion encouraging them to use her as a resource.
The Law School application does not ask for this information, but students may identify as LGBTQ+ through their personal statements.
Law students are eligible for the Elliott Jackson Jones Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an LGBTQ+ undergraduate or graduate student at The University of Alabama who is “working to improve the lives and welfare of LGBTQ+ persons on campus, in Alabama, or more broadly.” More information can be found here: http://capstonealliance.ua.edu/initiatives/scholarship/
Students may receive up to $300 per year in reimbursement for travel to job fairs, including diversity-oriented fairs, where they have an interview. Students who attend the Lavender Law Conference are eligible to receive these funds if they have an interview.
The Law School encourages and solicits applications from candidates of any background, orientation, or identity, although it does not expressly request information about sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The University provides the same benefits to married same-sex couples and married different-sex couples. The University does not provide benefits to couples who are not married, regardless of whether they are in same-sex or different-sex domestic partnerships. A summary of the University health insurance policy for employees can be found here: https://hr-estus.fa.ua.edu/HRFormsOnlinePub/HR%20Forms%20%20Online/2018%20medical%20SPD.pdf
The University provides the same benefits to married same-sex couples and married different-sex couples. The University does not provide benefits to couples who are not married, regardless of whether they are in same-sex or different-sex domestic partnerships. A summary of the University health insurance policy for students can be found here: https://www.uhcsr.com/uhcsrbrochures/Public/BenefitSummaryFlyers/2018-328-1%20Summary%20Brochure.pdf
The Law School has a licensed professional counselor who provides confidential counseling services for all law school students, both by appointment and through regular office hours held within the Law School throughout the school year. Counseling is also provided through The University of Alabama’s Counseling Center and The Women and Gender Resource Center, both of which are within walking distance of the Law School.
The University provides voluntary Safe Zone training throughout the year. Since the 2016-17 academic year, at least one training session has been held at the Law School annually for the convenience of Law School students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the Law School’s Student Bar Association requires that at least one officer of each law student organization be Safe-Zone trained. The Law School also participates in the University’s mandatory training programs, which include programs on diversity and inclusion.
The Law School has 6 gender-inclusive restrooms that are labeled with both male and female symbols. On building maps, where the restroom is gender-assigned, corresponding gender symbols are noted on the map; restrooms that are gender-inclusive are not marked with a symbol.
In addition to offering courses on Gender & the Law and Law & Sexuality, the Law School offers the following courses that cover LGBTQ+ issues:
Employment Discrimination Law
Equal Educational Opportunity
Lawyers and Social Change
Reproductive Rights Seminar
OUTlaw regularly co-sponsors events with the Law School’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and is supported by Student Bar Association funds.
The University of Alabama Harassment Policy specifically refers to sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression: https://fa-webprod.fa.ua.edu/UAFASPOnlinePublic/0a64f971-1b8c-493b-a241-9e0a980e6f9d/Harassment%20Policy.pdf
The Law School provides a number of services to LGBTQIA+ students through the University. The University’s SafeZone Resource Center provides educational outreach, community support, and crisis intervention resources for LGBTQIA+ members of the University community and their allies. Capstone Alliance provides additional resources and programs specifically for LGBTQIA+ faculty, staff and graduate students. These programs include Lavender Graduation, which has regularly included students, faculty and staff from the Law School. GRADient is an organization specifically serving LGBTQIA+ graduate students and allies.
In addition to access to the University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Law School has its own Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with a full-time Director of Diversity & Inclusion whose duties include addressing the needs of LGBTQIA+ students. In addition to organizing the programs listed below (among others), this Office maintains a Diverse Experts Directory that allows alumni and friends of the Law School to provide information about their areas of expertise. This Directory allows members to volunteer information about whether they self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Student organizations, faculty, and staff are encouraged to use this directory when planning events to ensure panels, speakers, and writers for events are diverse.
The Law School hosts a number of events that focus on issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community. A sampling of these events includes the following:
- In 2015, the Law School held a symposium on “LGBT Antidiscrimination Law and Policy after Hobby Lobby.”
- In 2016, the Law School hosted an LGBT Issues Forum, at which the (then) U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Joyce Vance, gave a lecture about the U.S. Department of Justice’s role in protecting LGBTQ+ civil rights.
- In 2017, the Law School’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion sponsored a Transgender Passport Workshop to assist individuals in completing passport applications. The Law School’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion invited UA SafeZone to co-sponsor.
- In 2018, the Law School brought in Professor William N. Eskridge Jr. from Yale Law School and Robin Fretwell Wilson from the University of Illinois to serve as dialogue catalysts at the Tolerance Means Dialogue event. The topic was “Religion and Gay Marriage: Do They Have to Be at Odds? Can Students Make a Difference?” This event was part of the national Tolerance Means Dialogue series, and the Law School invited the University and greater community to participate.