Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

LGBTQ+ Inclusion: From Candidate to Law Student

When navigating the law school enrollment journey, LGBTQ+ candidates face the challenging task of meeting two important criteria: finding a law school that meets their academic and professional needs while also providing a culture that will support their full authentic selves both inside and outside of the classroom. Currently, LGBTQ+ law school candidates have very little or no information to guide them in finding a school that meets these criteria. Recognizing the changing landscape of legal education and life for LGBTQ+ individuals since the LGBTQ+ survey was first administered over 15 years ago, the LSAC Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity subcommittee approved, in 2020, a new and robust candidate-centric survey. This survey was designed to better address questions about representation, the student experience, engagement, resources, availability of affirming spaces,[1] and inclusive curriculum.

The specific purpose of the 2021 LSAC LGBTQ+ Law School Survey was to collect information on how law schools support LGBTQ+ students.[2] The survey was administered in March 2021 to all 219 member law schools in the United States and Canada. A total of 136 U.S. law schools from 47 states and 5 Canadian law schools provided responses.

This report is the first of its kind, offering a highly nuanced perspective on how law schools support LGBTQ+ students. The purpose of this report is to create a baseline of understanding by providing an overview of current law school policies and practices related to (a) diverse representation, (b) recruitment and admission, (c) the student experience, and (d) the curriculum. The results of this survey will have a number of immediate uses, including:

  • Educating law school professionals about current LGBTQ+-related policies and practices in legal education in order to create a common understanding and baseline from which we can develop updates and advocate for inclusive and meaningful change.
  • Developing strategic programming and resources for candidates and schools, including the LSAC LGBTQ+ Guide to Law School.

For key takeaways, we created a brief series titled the LSAC Legal Education Brief Series: The 2021 LGBTQ+ Law School Survey. The series includes the following topics:

To learn more about the law school experience, the LGBTQ+ applicant pipeline, and vocabulary, and for an in-depth examination of the survey findings, please download the full report.

If you have any questions about this project and future work informed by the survey results, please contact LSAC DEI at DiversityOffice@LSAC.org.

[1] The Trevor Project found that affirming gender identity among transgender and nonbinary youth is consistently associated with lower rates of suicide attempts; The Trevor Project. (2019). National survey on LGBTQ youth mental health. The Trevor Project. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2020/ opens in new window.

[2] The 2021 LSAC LGBTQ+ Law School Survey results reflect school policies and practices for the 2019-2020 academic school year. Additionally, for the last 3 years, the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association opens in new window has implemented the Law School Campus Climate Survey to help law schools broadly explore how they can foster a safe and welcoming community for LGBTQ+ faculty, staff, and students. The LSAC LGBTQ+ Law School survey takes an in-depth approach to investigating how law schools support LGBTQ+ candidates.


collage of LGBTQ+ law students

Access the full report


Additional reports in this collection