Washburn University 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?

We intentionally seek out LGBTQ+ prospective students. We do this by sending directed emails to all students who identify as LGBTQ+ through LSAC.  We have also met directly with our undergraduate LGBTQ+ student organization, and we have sent information about events to diversity offices and LGBTQ+ offices at various state and region-wide undergraduate institutions. If a prospective student connects with us and self-identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, we will try to connect them with a current student or alumnus who is also a member of the community.

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
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
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.

Our LGBTQ+ organization is given the same seed money from student activity fees to participate in learning and career service opportunities as the other approved organizations. The organization may choose to pay the registration fee for members to attend Lavender Law or other LGBTQ+-focused learning and/or career service opportunities, and students sometimes attend the Heartland Diversity Job Fair, for which there isn’t a registration fee.

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 we recruit through the AALS faculty recruitment process.  That process allows applicants to self-identify as LGBTQ+.  As part of the hiring process, Washburn takes into account many factors, including the diversity of its faculty and staff.

8. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ faculty your law school employs (if any)
0
9. Please identify, to your knowledge, how many out LGBTQ+ staff/administrators?
1
Gay
1
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

FMLA is administered according to the federal regulations.  Health insurance is based on the marriage status – regardless of sex.  Surrogate mother coverage is the same as birth mother except if the petition to adopt is not filed there are no benefits for a surrogate mother.  A petition to adopt the child must be filed within 90 days of birth.  Insurance will not wait for the adoption to be final prior to paying birth mother benefits; however the adopting parents must have filed a petition for the adoption.  There is no benefit for the surrogate mother in the event of miscarriage or stillbirth.

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

Students may purchase health insurance through a third-party provider, and can go beyond individual coverage to cover a lawful same-sex spouse or lawful same-sex domestic partner. Medically necessary in-vitro fertilization or any other medically aided insemination procedure is covered.

No student receives family medical leave, parental leave, or adoptive benefits as an employee would, but all students receive consideration for absences due to family duties and emergencies as are consistent with the attendance policies in place under ABA accreditation requirements.

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

For the purpose of health insurance, transgender benefits are not excluded.  We also offer an employee assistance program.

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):
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.)?

Identified by picture sign.

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
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?
Yes
a. If so, does that process specifically identify sexual orientation, gender identity, or both as protected categories?

Yes.

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:

We are a small law school (fewer than 300 students) that provides an open-door, supportive, and welcoming environment to our students, which tends to be echoed by the student body. Each entering class is broken into small groups of 3-5 students led by trained and rigorously selected upper-class law students who provide guidance and support to students during their first semester. Sometimes the leaders are from the LGBTQ+ community. All groups are told about our LGBTQ organization and given the contact information of the officers. Each entering student also has the opportunity to meet with LGBTQ officers during the Opportunity Fair each semester.

We host programming geared toward the LGBTQ+ population and educating our students/faculty on LGBTQ+ issues. We recently hosted a “Queers and Allies Discover the Law” event. This event was geared toward high school and college students with an interest in learning about the current state of the law as it pertains to the LGBTQIA+ community and a desire to explore law as a career option. Interested allies were also welcome to attend.  Presenters addressed various issues, including same-sex couples and marriage, and name and gender marker changes. The event featured a panel of current LGBTQ law students and LGBTQ Washburn Law alumni attorneys discussing their law school experiences.

The university provides excellent ALLY training multiple times each semester, which is open to all faculty, staff, and students. The university also hosts a Gender Brown Bag Series, which gives faculty, staff, students, and community members the opportunity to come together over the noon hour and discuss gender issues.

Many of our faculty and staff attend events sponsored by the local alternative community and support their causes and organizations.  Our Associate Dean for Centers and External Programs has given pro bono assistance to Positive Connections, a local non-profit support organization for sexual health and support services, including HIV and other issues. Assistance has been given with legal issues, including sale and purchase of the commercial property for their current site as well as providing board member training for their governing board.

On February 15, 2019 Washburn Law will partner with the Kansas Federal Bar Association as the only regional law school to live stream a full day Diversity in the Law continuing legal education program from the Federal District Court in Kansas City.  Washburn Law professors and a student will present on an afternoon panel session entitled, “LGBTQ V. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM” specifically addressing current legal issues facing these groups from a constitutional and political context.