University of New Mexico 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?

Yes, we routinely use the Law School Admission Counsel’s (LSAC) , Credential Referral Service (CRS) to send out targeted emails  as well as focus on applicants who self-identify in their personal statement.

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

We refer all our admitted applicants to our website which has information on all our affinity groups.

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

Not on the application, as we use the LSAC form, but a student may identify 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

Applicants may list preferred name on the application which is used on all correspondence from the Admissions Office, however, we are not able to add that into the university’s Banner System,

5. Does your law school provide any annual scholarships specifically for LGBTQ+ students?
No
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.

If students choose to participate Law School will support travel to the national Williams Institute Moot Court Competition that is exclusively sexual orientation and gender identity law topics. In addition, the Law School  has supported students participation by working with Legal Aid to staff tables at National Coming Out Day and PrideFest-Albuquerque Pride events (last time was in 2017), as well as support student attendance at the annual Lavender Law Conference (last time was in 2018).

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

All faculty postings and hiring processes are monitored by the UNM Office of Equal Opportunity.  This office has the mission “to promote equal access and treatment for all and to promote a safe environment free of discrimination and inequity in accordance with University values and policies and with federal and state equal opportunity and affirmative action statutes and regulations.”  In addition, we promote any openings on a variety of listservs, including the New Mexico Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association and its membership.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
6
Lesbian
3
Gay
3
How many out LGBTQ+ faculty of color does your institution currently employ in total?
2
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

https://hr.unm.edu/benefits/eligibility

Benefits-Eligible Employees

  • Regular staff employees who are full-time or part-time and have an appointment percent of 50% or greater
  • Term or contract staff employees who are full-time or part-time, have an appointment percent of 50% or greater, and have a minimum three-month term appointment or contract
  • Temporary staff employees who have an appointment percent of 75% or greater and have a minimum three-month appointment are eligible for certain Benefits Plans
  • Faculty members who have a minimum three-month contract and an appointment percent of 50% or greater
  • Adjunct faculty who have a minimum three-month contract and an appointment percent of 75% or greater are eligible for certain Benefits Plans
  • Post-doctoral fellows who have a minimum three-month contract and an appointment percent of 50% or greater are eligible for certain Benefits Plans

Eligible Dependents

  • Your legal spouse
  • Your domestic partner as defined and outlined in the UAPPM #3790 – Domestic Partners
  • Surviving Spouses: Your surviving spouse requires new enrollment forms within 60 calendar days to continue current health benefits:
      • Maximum coverage period is 12 months
      • See Surviving Dependent Eligibility Criteria
  • Your children up to age 26 (coverage ends at the end of the month of your child’s 26th birthday)
  • Your children (mentally/physically disabled) over 26, may extend coverage with application/certification within 60 calendar days of turning age 26

If your spouse and/or child has coverage as a UNM employee, he/she may not enroll as your dependent while he/she remains an employee. Likewise, if both you and your spouse/domestic partner work for UNM and are covered as employees, your child(ren) may only be enrolled as dependents under one employee.

If a dependent no longer meets the listed eligibility requirements, you must dis-enroll your ineligible dependent within 60 calendar days from the date your dependent loses eligibility.

http://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/3000/3790.html

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual – Policy 3790: Domestic Partners
Date Originally Issued: 10-01-1994
Revised: 01-01-2009, 03-11-2014, 08-20-2015
Authorized by RPM 6.3 (“Privileges and Benefits”)
Process Owner: Vice President for Human Resources

1. General
The University of New Mexico is committed to providing equal employment and educational opportunities to all individuals.  UAP 2720 (“Prohibited Discrimination and Equal Opportunity”) forbids unlawful discrimination based on sexual preference and other protected status. Therefore, the University must provide equal employment benefits to employees with a domestic partner of the same gender.  The University has determined that in the interests of fundamental fairness, the definition of domestic partners will apply to all relationships akin to marriage, whether of the same gender or not. All University employees that have a domestic partner as defined in Section 2., herein shall be provided services and benefits on the same basis provided to legal spouses.

Legally married same-sex couples are not subject to this policy and have the same rights and benefits as legally married opposite-sex couples.

2. Domestic Partners
The University defines domestic partners as two (2) individuals who live together in a long-term relationship of indefinite duration. There must be an exclusive mutual commitment similar to that of marriage, in which the partners agree to be financially responsible for each other’s welfare and share financial obligations.

2.1. Qualifying Criteria
Individuals may qualify for and be recognized as domestic partners by the University, if both individuals meet all of the following criteria, sign an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership form (found on HR’s website forms page), and submit any necessary documentation to the Human Resources Service Center.

2.1.1. Both domestic partners must be unmarried.

2.1.2. Domestic partners must have been in a mutually exclusive relationship for the last twelve (12) months, intending to do so indefinitely, and must share the same primary residence.

2.1.3. Domestic partners must meet the age requirements for marriage in New Mexico and be mentally competent to consent to contract.

2.1.4. Domestic partners must not be related by blood to the degree prohibited in a legal marriage in the State of New Mexico.

2.1.5. Domestic partners must be jointly responsible for the common welfare of each other and share financial obligations. An Affidavit of Domestic Partnership form (found on HR’s website forms page) signed to that effect and proof of one (1) of the following must be submitted to the Employee Services Office:

  • A joint mortgage or lease.
  • Joint ownership of a motor vehicle, joint bank account, or joint credit account.
  • Domestic partner named as beneficiary of life insurance.
  • Domestic partner named as beneficiary of retirement benefits.
  • Domestic partner named as primary beneficiary in the employee’s or student’s will.
  • Domestic partner assigned durable property or health care power of attorney.
  • Household expenses are shared by both partners

The University may require proof that those applying for status of domestic partnership meet the above requirements. Providing false information may result in disciplinary action, dismissal, and reimbursement of costs involved in providing benefit coverage.

2.2. Termination of Domestic Partnership

Individuals granted domestic partnership status must report any change in status that terminates the relationship to the Human Resources Service Center, within thirty (30) calendar days, by completing a Termination of Domestic Partnership form (found on HR’s website forms page).

3. Qualifying as a Dependent of Domestic Partners

The child of a domestic partnership qualifies as an eligible dependent if:

  • either of the domestic partners is the biological parent of the child,
  •  either or both partners are adoptive parents of the child, or
  • the child has been placed in the domestic partner’s household as part of an adoptive placement.

4. Services and Benefits

Domestic partners and their dependents, as defined in Section 3. herein, shall be granted all and the same services and benefits as those provided to married spouses and their dependents, except where expressly prohibited by law. All University policies that affect employees, spouses and their families also apply to employees, domestic partners, and their families.

5. Taxability

The value of tuition and insurance benefits provided to the domestic partner is considered taxable income to the employee by the Internal Revenue Service and is subject to social security and federal and state income tax withholding.

6. Forms

Affidavit of Domestic Partnership can be found on the HR website forms page.
Termination of Domestic Partnership can be found on the HR website forms page.

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

However, they do qualify if the Student is holding a Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship, Research Assistantship or a Project Assistantship with the university as defined within University Policy.  The overall policy is the same as for the faculty and staff, previously listed.  All other students receive care through Student Health and Counseling: http://shac.unm.edu/ , but it is only available to the enrolled student. https://hr.unm.edu/benefits/student-health-plan.

http://hr.unm.edu/docs/benefits/student-health-plan-brochure-2017-2018.pdf
_ offered through BlueCross/BlueShield Eligible students who enroll may also insure their Dependents. Dependent enrollment must take place at the initial time of student enrollment (or within 30 days, if the premium is billed on the student’s tuition); exceptions to this rule
are made for newborn or adopted children, or for dependents who become eligible for coverage as the result of a qualifying event. (Please see “Qualifying Events” section for more details.) “Dependent” means an Insured’s lawful spouse including Domestic Partner; or an Insured’s child, stepchild, child of a Covered Person’s Domestic Partner, foster
child, dependent grandchild or spouse’s dependent grandchild; or a child who is adopted by the Insured or placed for adoption with the Insured, or for whom the Insured is a party in a suit for the adoption of the child; or a child whom the Insured is required to insure under a medical support order issued or enforceable by the courts. Any such child must be under age

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
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):

However, they do qualify if the Student is holding a Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship, Research Assistantship or a Project Assistantship with the university as defined within University Policy.  The overall policy is the same as for the faculty and staff, previously listed.  All other students receive care through Student Health and Counseling: http://shac.unm.edu/ , but it is only available to the enrolled student. https://hr.unm.edu/benefits/student-health-plan. (See answer to previous questions related to student healthcare)

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

Yes, all students receive care through Student Health and Counseling: http://shac.unm.edu/, but the Law School also has an on-site counselor from main campus for 20 hours a week.

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

Not yet, but the Law School is currently reassessing its trainings look for gaps that the annual University-wide training does, but with not enough follow-up to incorporate effectively into the Law School’s culture.  The only required training is the annual University-wide required training called “Intersections: Preventing Discrimination and Harassment” that  does incorporate LGBTQ+ in its coverage.

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.)?

There are two gender-inclusive restrooms.  The one accessible to students is labeled “All Gender” and there is one in the Law School Administrative Suite that is labeled “Unisex.”  There are no posted, published or circulating building maps or policies regarding these restrooms.

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.)?
No
a. If so, please list course names

Courses on these subjects are offered on an annual basis, but Sexuality and the Law and credit for the Williams Institute Moot Court Competition are offered when student interest and faculty availability allow.

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

Yes. Lambda Law Student Association. http://lawschool.unm.edu/students/organizations/lambda/index.html 

The University also has the LGBTQ Resource Center: http://lgbtqrc.unm.edu/

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?

Yes.  University Policy 2720 on Prohibited Discrimination and Equal Opportunity states: “The University is committed to fostering an environment of inclusiveness that respects an individual’s preferred form of self-identification, including a name other than a legal first name and preferred pronoun. This policy prohibits gender-based discrimination, including discrimination based on gender-identity or expression and affirms the right of individuals to use the gender-specific facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

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:

A few years ago, the University of New Mexico School of Law created the position of Associate Dean of Institutional Climate and Equity. This position is tasked with creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive community based on respectful communication among students, staff, and faculty.  As an example of efforts outside of this position, our Career Services unit has been tracking the U.S. Military Policy on Transgender individuals to make sure that recruiters that come to the Law School  for the Judge Advocate General’s Office are in compliance with the Law School’s and University’s non-discrimination policies.