Diversity in Law School
Researching Law Schools
A law school's definition of diversity should be in sync with your definition. Consider how a particular law school and its community are best prepared to facilitate the type of legal education and practice you envision for yourself. Ask law school representatives about their school's policies and programs that are designed to bring about diversity in legal education.
Most law schools welcome all applicants and promote a diverse and inclusive community. In fact, you may find that the choices available to you are somewhat overwhelming. As a savvy consumer of legal education, you will ultimately want to attend the law school that is the best fit for you, which means doing some research and asking a lot of questions. You'll want to ask questions pertaining to the classroom experience, the student population, career issues, and overall support from the law school you may attend.
In addition to that, we suggest you consult our survey of law schools for up-to-date information on individual schools' specific policies and population based on six questions that our researchers asked.
- Does the law school have a nondiscrimination policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity?
- Does the law school have a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender student organization?
- Does the law school have any openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender faculty members?
- Does the law school have any openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender administrators?
- Does the law school offer any courses primarily focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender legal issues?
- Does the law school offer any form of domestic partnership benefits to faculty, staff, or students?
If a school has not provided this data, you should seek out this information. Surveys of LGBT law students reveal that the institutional support provided for LGBT students academically, financially, and in career planning is a critical part of students' satisfaction with, and success in, law school. A law school's admission and promotional materials provide some evidence of the extent of this support, but cannot provide the full picture. It is important that you do your homework to learn as much as possible about the schools in which you are interested before choosing. There are numerous other resources available, including the individual law schools.
Other significant considerations in your decision about where to attend law school should include programs of study, financial aid availability, campus climate/diversity, location, and outcomes (jobs and bar passage). This website is the best place to find general and law school-specific information about these topics.
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