UC Davis School of Law

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

The UC Davis Law School admission procedures and criteria include the following statement: “There are other factors which bear on the applicant’s suitability for the study and practice of law. These will also be considered, and include: achievements, for oneself or others, despite social, economic, or physical disadvantage, including specific experience of discrimination on the basis of characteristics such as race, ethnicity, immigrant status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and age. Consideration shall be given to individuals who, despite having suffered disadvantage economically or in terms of their social environment, or due to specific experience of discrimination, have nonetheless demonstrated sufficient character and determination in overcoming obstacles to warrant confidence that they can pursue a course of study to successful completion.”

The law school includes information about its diverse and inclusive community in the biennial Law School Admission Council (LSAC) LGBTQ+ Guide to Law Schools, available to all prospective law students on the LSAC website. Admissions staff also take part in LGBTQ+ ally training offered by the campus LGBTQIA Resource Center to counsel effectively LGBTQ+ prospective students interested in the law school Prospective students who wish to do so are welcome to address their sexual orientation or sexual identity in their personal statement. Finally, the law school’s student organization, Lambda, as well as LGBTQ+ faculty, participate in individual outreach to prospective students who self-identify on their application for admission. The law school also supports Lambda in its outreach and recruitment efforts (e.g., prelaw student shadowing days).

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

Prospective students who wish to do so are welcome to address their sexual orientation and/or sexual identity in their personal statement.

 

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

The law school and the university’s Student Preferred Name policy permit any student to choose to identify themselves within the university’s information systems with a preferred name (i.e., a first name that students may choose to use instead of their legal first name), in addition to their legal name. The student’s preferred name will be used in law school and university communications and reporting, and reported in any campus and law school directories, except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by university business or legal requirement.

Preferred Name Policy

 

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

Dean’s Merit Scholarships include consideration of myriad factors, including diversity defined broadly to include perseverance and overcoming obstacles. Applicants are encouraged to provide information about experience with discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and having overcome the obstacles such discrimination creates.

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.

The law school’s Career Services Office includes in its job postings the annual Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference, as well as paid and unpaid internships targeted to students with an interest in working on issues of sexual orientation and public policy. The law school’s travel policy encourages students to apply for law school funded grants to travel to conferences, and has supported students’ attendance at the Lavender Law Career Fair and similar opportunities through these grants.

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

For faculty recruitments, the law school actively advertises to a LGBTQ+ listserv (specifically, the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Listserv through the Association of American Law Schools [“AALS”]). Also, the law school actively advertises to other listserves specializing in diversity recruitment that may be of interest to LGBTQ+ applicants, including AALS Minority Groups Listserv, Latino Law Professor Listserv, Asian American Law Professors Listserv, and Women in Legal Education Listserv. The law school’s overarching goal is to recruit and retain as diverse a group of faculty as possible. Recruiting information for faculty, staff, and administrators always include statements that diverse candidates, including LGBTQ+ individuals are encouraged to apply.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
4
How many out LGBTQ+ faculty of color does your institution currently employ in total?
1
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
0
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

Same-sex domestic partners and their dependents are eligible to receive medical, dental, vision, and legal plan benefits if they meet the following requirements:

Same-Sex Domestic Partner Eligibility

• Domestic partnership registered with the State of California or a substantially equivalent same-sex partnership established in another jurisdiction, OR meets the following criteria to be a domestic partnership for benefits purposes:

• Parties must be each other’s sole domestic partner in a long-term, committed relationship and must intend to remain so indefinitely.

• Neither party may be legally married or be a partner in another domestic partnership.

• Parties must not be related to each other by blood to a degree that would prohibit legal marriage in the State of California.

•Both parties must be at least 18 years old and capable of consenting to the relationship.

• Both parties must be financially interdependent.

• Parties must share a common residence.

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

Same-sex domestic partners and their dependents are eligible to receive medical, dental, vision, and legal plan benefits if they meet the following requirements:

Same-Sex Domestic Partner Eligibility

• Domestic partnership registered with the State of California or a substantially equivalent same-sex partnership established in another jurisdiction, OR meets the following criteria to be a domestic partnership for benefits purposes:

• Parties must be each other’s sole domestic partner in a long-term, committed relationship and must intend to remain so indefinitely.

• Neither party may be legally married or be a partner in another domestic partnership.

• Parties must not be related to each other by blood to a degree that would prohibit legal marriage in the State of California.

•Both parties must be at least 18 years old and capable of consenting to the relationship.

• Both parties must be financially interdependent.

• Parties must share a common residence.

12. Does your law school offer transition-related health benefits to transgender and/or transitioning employees?
a. If so, please summarize or reproduce your policy here

Transgender Health Benefits

“Benefits are provided for services and supplies in connection with Gender Transition when a Physician has diagnosed you with Gender Dysphoria. This coverage is provided according to the terms and conditions of this Benefit Booklet that apply to all other medical conditions, including Medical Necessity requirements, utilization management, and exclusions for cosmetic services. Coverage includes, but is not limited to, Medically Necessary services related to Gender Transition such as transgender surgery (i.e., female to male top surgery, female to male bottom surgery, male to female top surgery and male to female bottom surgery), hormone therapy, psychotherapy, electrolysis and laser hair removal at donor site and face/neck, tracheal shave and vocal training. Coverage is provided for specific services according to benefits under this Benefit Booklet that apply to that type of service generally, if the Plan includes coverage for the service in question. For example, transgender surgery would be covered on the same basis as any other Network covered, Medically Necessary surgery or hormone therapy would be covered under this Benefit Booklet’s benefits.”

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):

Benefit Booklet

“Benefits are provided for services and supplies in connection with Gender Transition when a Physician has diagnosed you with Gender Dysphoria. This coverage is provided according to the terms and conditions of this Benefit Booklet that apply to all other medical conditions, including Medical Necessity requirements, utilization management, and exclusions for cosmetic services. Coverage includes, but is not limited to, Medically Necessary services related to Gender Transition such as transgender surgery (i.e., female to male top surgery, female to male bottom surgery, male to female top surgery and male to female bottom surgery), hormone therapy, psychotherapy, electrolysis and laser hair removal at donor site and face/neck, tracheal shave and vocal training. Coverage is provided for specific services according to benefits under this Benefit Booklet that apply to that type of service generally, if the Plan includes coverage for the service in question. For example, transgender surgery would be covered on the same basis as any other Network covered, Medically Necessary surgery or hormone therapy would be covered under this Benefit Booklet’s benefits.”

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

The law school currently has a full-time psychologist based in the law school whose full-time position is to provide counseling to law students and related wellness programming, including workshops in meditation and mindfulness. Law students may also access the services of the central campus’ Counseling Center. The Counseling Center’s staff is diverse and includes LGBTQ+ counselors. A counselor is also assigned to serve the campus’ LGBTQIA Resource Center.

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

Please see the law school’s response to Q. 20 for more information.

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 bathrooms with signage using the international convention (a triangle within a circle) are single-stall, lockable bathrooms available to people of all genders and sexes. Gender inclusive bathrooms provide a safe, private facility for transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people, families with children, and people with disabilities who may need assistance. Single-stall restrooms also more easily meet the accessibility regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law school has six gender inclusive restrooms spread across the three floors of the law school. A map showing gender inclusive restrooms across the UC Davis campus, including the law school, is here. 

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

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Law. Also, Feminist Legal Theory, Sex-Based Discrimination, and International Human Rights include coverage of LGBTQ+ topics. Students can also write independent research papers for academic credit on LGBTQ+ topics, and can gain law practice experience working on LGBTQ+ issues by enrolling in externships at organizations such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

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

King Hall’s Lambda Law Students Association is a robust group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied students, faculty, and staff. To promote its mission of community, education, and activism, Lambda sponsors events that raise awareness of LGBTQ+ legal issues on campus and in the larger community. Lambda also provides a supportive space for LGBTQ+ law students through academic and professional support programs, as well as a variety of social opportunities. Lambda additionally strives to attract and retain LGBTQ+ law students, including working closely with the Admissions Office to assist in the recruitment and matriculation of LGBTQ+ law school applicants, such as hosting shadow days and conducting other outreach activities for prospective King Hall students.

Lambda-sponsored events and activities in past years have included

• the Annual Lambda Law Welcome BBQ for members, friends, allies, and alumni;

• Lambda Law Culture Week, which features prominent guest speakers who present programs on current LGBTQ+ issues, many of whom are members of the LGBTQ+ community;

• the annual Bill F. Smith Memorial Lecture, which honors the memory of a beloved LGBTQ+ alumnus who dedicated himself to disability and LGBTQ+ rights activism. The lecture has featured speakers such as Therese Stewart, a current California Court of Appeals Justice who, as chief deputy city attorney for the city and county of San Francisco, defended in state and federal courts the city’s position that same-sex couples have the right to marry; Judge Vaughn Walker, who, in 2010, presided over the trial on the constitutionality of California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage known as Proposition 8; Paul Smith, a prominent Supreme Court advocate who represented, among others, the petitioners in Lawrence v. Texas; Kate Kendall, until recently the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Dr. Jamison Green, a renowned educator and policy advisor on transgender and transsexual issues;

• a summer grant awarded by Lambda to a first or second year law student who plans to do nonprofit legal work on LGBTQ+ and/or disability rights issues, also in memory of Bill F. Smith.

• the Lambda Legal Clinic, staffed by UC Davis School of Law and McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific students at the Lambda center in Sacramento to provide legal referrals in the LGBT community; and

• social events and mixers, including wine and cheese parties and film viewings.

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?
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 its non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, UC Davis also has the Principles of Community, an aspirational statement that embodies its commitment to understanding and valuing both individual differences and common ground. All members of the university community (students, faculty and staff) are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Principles. The Principles of Community state:

Principles of Community

The University of California, Davis, is first and foremost an institution of learning, teaching, research and public service. UC Davis reflects and is committed to serving the needs of a global society comprising all people and a multiplicity of identities. The university expects that every member of our community acknowledge, value, and practice the following guiding principles.

We affirm the dignity inherent in all of us, and we strive to maintain a climate of equity and justice demonstrated by respect for one another. We acknowledge that our society carries within it historical and deep-rooted injustices and biases. Therefore, we endeavor to foster mutual understanding and respect among the many parts of our whole.

We affirm the right of freedom of expression within our community. We affirm our commitment to non-violent exchange and the highest standards of conduct and decency toward all. Within this context we reject violence in all forms. We promote open expression of our individuality and our diversity within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity and respect. We further recognize the right of every individual to think, speak, express and debate any idea limited only by university regulations governing time, place and manner.

We confront and reject all manifestations of discrimination, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender and gender expression, age, visible and non-visible disability, nationality, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, religious/non-religious, spiritual, or political beliefs, socio-economic class, status within or outside the university, or any of the other differences among people which have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension or hatred. We recognize and cherish the richness contributed to our lives by our diversity. We take pride in all our achievements, and we celebrate our differences.

We recognize that each of us has an obligation to the UC Davis community of which we have chosen to be a part. We will strive to build and maintain a culture and climate based on mutual respect and caring.

Additionally, UC Davis Law School is fortunate to be located in Northern California, an area well known for its friendliness to members of the LGBTQ+ community. The UC Davis campus includes an active LGBTQIA Resource Center https://lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu/ and a strong nondiscrimination policy, as discussed above. Prominent members of the central campus administration are openly LGBTQ+, including the Provost, the Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations, and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life, Campus Community, and Retention Services.

In addition to actively encouraging student, faculty, and staff participation in local and national LGBTQ+ bar association events, the law school works hard to promote diversity in all aspects of law school life, including curriculum design, teaching, and the hiring of openly LGBTQ+ faculty and staff. The law school frequently ranks highly in diversity rankings, such as placing in the Top 10 Most Diverse Law Schools in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings, and having the only majority-minority faculty among top U.S. law schools. https://law.ucdavis.edu/news/news.aspx?id=8930

The law school and the university’s Student Preferred Name policy permits any student to choose to identify themselves within the university’s information systems with a preferred name (i.e., a first name that students may choose to use instead of their legal first name). The student’s preferred name will be used in law school and university communications and reporting, and reported in any campus and law school directories, except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by university business or legal requirement.

The UC Davis campus requires mandatory training in diversity issues, including LGBTQ+ issues, for all members of faculty appointments committees, and for all persons who serve as associate deans. Additionally, the law school strongly encourages faculty and staff to avail themselves of the numerous diversity and inclusion training opportunities provided by the university. Examples of such training opportunities, which focus either exclusively or in part on issues relevant to the LGBTQ+ community, include:

• https://lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu/educated/ally-training

• LGBTQIA Inclusion in the Workplace

• Living the Principles of Community (eCourse)

• Diversity Awareness for New Supervisors and Leads

• Disability Awareness in the Workplace

Staff and faculty can also take coursework that allows them to earn certificates which demonstrate training in diversity and cross-cultural competency