The University of Mississippi School of Law

1. Does your law school intentionally seek out LGBTQ+ prospective students?
No
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?
No

In the past, our welcome packet has mentioned the Black Law Students Association. This year it will also include the Latino Law Students Association and OUTlaw, which is UM Law’s student organization committed to LGBTQ+ issues and support.

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

There is an OUTlaw Leadership Award given each spring.

6. Does your law school provide funding, including travel support, for LGBTQ+ students to participate in LGBTQ+-focused learning and career services opportunities?
No
a. If so, please provide details and examples of when and how those opportunities have been utilized.
7. Does your law school actively seek to employ diverse staff/faculty/administrators, including visible, out LGBTQ+ individuals?
No
a. If so, please detail how and where recruitment efforts are directed

During full-time faculty and staff searches, the Law School works with the University EEO office to ensure proper recruitment efforts.  The Law School follows the Search Committee Guide issued by the University’s Department of Human Resources (HR) and the Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance Office, which can be found here: https://eorc.olemiss.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/99/2015/11/HR-and-EORC-Search-Committee-Guide.pdf.

Among other things, this policy requires that:• Committee members be diverse in both race and gender;

  • The position be advertised broadly, including in “minority-targeted publications;”
  • The Ad must state: “The University of Mississippi is an EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disability/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Title VI/Title VII/Title IX/504/ADA/ADEA employer.”

The appointment of new faculty and staff at the University cannot move forward until the Office of Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance has verified that the recruitment and selection process is in compliance with all relevant policies.

This includes placing ads or announcements in venues likely to attract a diverse applicant pool.  We make every effort to identify candidates from diverse backgrounds.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
To our knowledge, we have a few LGBTQ faculty and staff, but the law school does not have a formal process for self-identification.
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
To our knowledge, we have a few LGBTQ faculty and staff, but the law school does not have a formal process for self-identification.
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?
No
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

The University offers health insurance coverage to faculty/staff through the State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan.  A legally married spouse, same-sex or different-sex, is deemed a qualifying dependent and eligible for enrollment.  Information about the State Health Plan is available in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) which can be accessed at  http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov/publications/.

Employees who are legally married, same-sex or different-sex, are also entitled to the same FMLA and paternal benefits.  Policies can be accessed via the following links.

Information is also available on the Types of Leave website.  http://hr.olemiss.edu/benefits/leave/

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

Law Students are not covered by health insurance plan.

12. Does your law school offer transition-related health benefits to transgender and/or transitioning employees?
No
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

The State Health Plan SPD provides information about benefits offered with the Plan, in addition to excluded services.  http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov/publications/

The Office of Insurance has asked employer units to not address questions about how benefits are paid, if a specific service may be covered, etc. since we are not involved in the claims process. If you have specific questions about transition-related benefits, please direct them to the Office of Insurance at 866-586-2781.

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):

Law Students are not covered by health insurance 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?
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?
No
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.)?

The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Affairs identified restroom 1118 as the most private restroom for any trans student. The identified procedure is for a person to check out a key for the room from office 2065.

Go to the Campus Map and [on the left] select Services. Then, select Health & Safety. Finally, select Restrooms. At this point, you will be able to see private restrooms in any building on campus that has one.

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

Gender and the Law and the course’s book (Sexploitation…) cover LGBTQ issues extensively.

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?
No
a. If so, does that process specifically identify sexual orientation, gender identity, or both as protected categories?

Our law school is part of a larger university that has a Bias Incident Response Team. Any member of the university community should report “a behavior or act that targets an individual or group based on perceived or actual characteristics such as, but  not limited to, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability, or age.” There is not a requirement for law students to report this information. Sexual orientation and gender identity are protected categories.

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:

In addition to OUTlaw activities specifically for law students, our university has an Allies Program which provides training for students, faculty, and staff to support our LGBTQ+ community. Our university also has M-Pride for student involvement and a city-wide Oxford-Pride and OutOxford which is supported by the university’s Sarah Isom Center for Gender Studies.