Southwestern is committed to increasing access to quality legal education. Southwestern hosts an annual Diversity Day event where LGBTQ+ students can connect with professors and current students, and members of our on-campus LGBTQ+ student organization. We have scholarships specifically for our LGBTQ+ students, and we also send staff and students to the Lavender Law Conference and the LSAC LGBTQIA Equality Conference.
There is an optional LGBTQ+ identity question on the application form. Applicants are also invited to submit an optional diversity statement where they can share their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Southwestern Law School’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is part of its long standing mission. Recruitment efforts for staff including advertising on several platforms in an effort to reach a diverse pool of qualified applicants. Platforms include LinkedIn, Simplicity, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and various listservs.
Southwestern has been committed to academic diversity since its founding in 1911. Our commitment to diversity in faculty, students and staff remains a top priority for us today. With respect to faculty, we have taken special care to note all diversity resumes that have been submitted through formal channels, such as the AALS process, or placement bulletins. But we have also recruited through more informal channels. We have called on individual faculty members to reach out to members of federal, state, and local bar associations who come from historically underrepresented communities and show promise as law teachers, and encourage them to apply for faculty positions.
Yes, comprehensive medical coverage is offered to all employees and their partners equally, regardless of LGBTQ+ status.
From our health-care/insurance provider:
Aetna complies with applicable federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex. Aetna does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
Here is the policy from our health-care insurance provider:
Aetna does offer transition-related benefits for transgender/transitioning employees.
Please see the link below. http://www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/600_699/0615.html
Yes, all Southwestern students have access to counseling and/or psychological services.
Southwestern provides students with the counseling services of HelpNet, a private consulting firm that can refer students to counseling services and community resources for problems involving relationships, academic stress, family, financial and legal circumstances, substance abuse and other concerns. Students are entitled to two free counseling sessions each year (July 1 through June 30).
All the counselors in HelpNet’s network have been carefully screened for professional licensing and credentials.
Psychotherapist Daria Spino is also available to assist students on campus several days per week. Students are entitled to up to three, 50-minute sessions per semester, where they will receive one-on-one guidance.
There is a Gender Neutral sign on designated restrooms.
Women and the Law; Race and the Law Seminar; Critical Race Theory; DFEH Civil Rights Clinic; Media as an International Human Right
Through our Dean of Students and Diversity Affairs’ Office, Career Services Office, and Student Affairs Office, we have funded students and staff to travel to attend the Lavender Law Conference, as well as the LSAC LGBTQIA Equality Conference.
Yes, we have a Diversity & Inclusion committee that is comprised of faculty, staff, and students that puts together programs and leads discussions to address these issues. Participation in the programs/events are optional for all staff, students, and faculty.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee has a portal page where students, staff, and faculty can access videos and articles, including on gender identity issues, and sends out a monthly newsletter to students that highlights a diversity-related topic and offers educational material to students. These newsletters have included a focus on transgender violence, for example. In addition, the school launched an extensive survey of the student body on inclusivity issues last year and is reviewing the results to identify areas of need.
At Southwestern, it is our mission to foster diversity and inclusion. We take pride in our vibrant community of students, staff, and faculty from all walks of life, and we strive to be as supportive as possible to our LGBTQ+ community.
Here are all the additional ways our law school provides a welcoming, safe and inclusive learning environment to our LGBTQ+ community :
As a show of support to our LGBTQ+ students and faculty, we have designed our own pride month school logo.
Our LGBTQ+ student group, OUTLaw is active on campus and supported by Professor John Heilman, a City Council Member and former 8-time Mayor of West Hollywood. (You can check out our Q&A with Professor Heilman for Pride Month here: https://www.swlaw.edu/swlawblog/201806/qa-professor-john-heilman-pride-month)
The group’s current faculty advisor is Professor Bryce Woolley, a member of The Williams Institute’s L.A. Leadership Council. The Williams Institute conducts independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy
(Watch our Q&A with Professor Woolley for Pride Month here: https://www.swlaw.edu/swlawblog/201906/qa-professor-bryce-woolley-pride-month)
We have a whole week dedicated to Diversity in which our LGBTQ+ students are celebrated as part of our larger community.
We also have a Diversity and Inclusion Committee that is comprised of faculty, staff, AND students.
Our faculty committee on Diversity & Inclusion has engaged in several recent initiatives that should help ensure Southwestern remains a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students. The faculty had a small group discussion that included an article and video of students discussing challenges these students faced and came up with several ideas about how the school can make LGBTQ+ students feel comfortable in our campus environment and in our classrooms. For example, professors have been encouraged to ask for and respect pronoun preferences and to express their own pronoun preferences to students through their email signature. The school also began investigating alternative locations for all-gender bathrooms to make them easier to find and access.
In addition, the school launched an extensive survey of the student body on inclusivity issues last year and is reviewing the results to identify areas of need. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee also has a portal page where students can access videos and articles, including on gender identity issues, and sends out a monthly newsletter to students that highlights a diversity-related topic and offers educational material to students. These newsletters have included a focus on transgender violence, for example.
Southwestern Law School has been recognized for our commitment to diversity and has received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity for 7 years. This award was presented to Southwestern based on the law school’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community. This is one of many awards in recognition for our commitment to diversity. You can find more here: https://www.swlaw.edu/student-life/diversity
There is 24/7 security on campus to ensure the safety of all of our students.