Cornell Law School

Cornell Law School
Myron Taylor Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-4901, USA
Phone: 607.255.5141 | Fax: 607.255.4656
Website: www.lawschool.cornell.edu

Does your law school have a nondiscrimination policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation?

Cornell University has an enduring commitment to support equality of education and employment opportunity by affirming the value of diversity and by promoting an environment free from discrimination. Cornell Law School is committed to Cornell University's policy affirming equality of opportunity: No person shall be denied admission to any educational program or activity or be denied employment on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination involving, but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Does your law school have a nondiscrimination policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity?

Cornell University has an enduring commitment to support equality of education and employment opportunity by affirming the value of diversity and by promoting an environment free from discrimination. Cornell Law School is committed to Cornell University's policy affirming equality of opportunity: No person shall be denied admission to any educational program or activity or be denied employment on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination involving, but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.

Does your law school provide gender-neutral restrooms?

Yes

Does your law school have a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender student organization?

Lambda, our LGBT student organization, partners with other student affinity groups in student outreach and recruitment. Lambda is an active presence in Cornell student leadership.

Does your law school have any openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender faculty members?

Barbara J. Holden-Smith
Professor of Law
Phone: 607.255.8577
Email: bjh12@cornell.edu

Does your law school have any openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender administrators?

Martha Fitzgerald
Associate Dean for Communications
Phone: 607.255.6596
Email: mpf28@cornell.edu

Does your law school offer any academic courses primarily focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender legal issues?

Advocacy for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Communities Clinic

The LGBT Clinic is dedicated to achieving equal rights and dignity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Clinic students represent diverse members of the LGBT community in a range of civil legal matters. Examples of cases the clinic has worked on are: representing LGBT refugees from Honduras, Jamaica, Uganda, Colombia, and Ukraine, who fled violent persecution based on their sexual identities, seeking asylum before the immigration courts; suing New York State on behalf of a transgender woman who was brutally raped while incarcerated in a maximum security men’s prison; and assisting LGBT people in child support, adoption, divorce, and child custody matters.

Students handle all phases of the representation: interviewing and counseling clients; securing any necessary expert witnesses; researching and writing all briefs and motions filed; and appearing on the client’s behalf at any scheduled court appearances.

Students also undertake nonlitigation projects in conjunction with nonprofit organizations working to advance LGBT equality. Advocacy projects have included researching the legal rights of LGBT domestic violence victims for the New York State LGBT DV Network and creating community education materials on how LGBT couples can safeguard their legal rights in the event of illness or disability. In the seminar portion of the clinic, students deepen their knowledge of relevant law and further develop their advocacy skills. We also reflect on how lawyers can most effectively contribute to the struggle for social justice on behalf of marginalized LGBT communities.

The Cornell Law School LGBT Clinic provides free legal assistance to low-income LGBT people in Tompkins County and the surrounding area. If you would like more information or to request assistance, please call our office at 607.255.4196 or email lgbt-clinic@cornell.edu.

Does your law school offer the same benefits to faculty, staff, or student same-sex spouses as they do opposite-sex spouses?

Cornell’s generous benefits include coverage for spouses and domestic partners. When you get married or gain a domestic partner—or your spouse or partner’s job status (i.e., lost or gained employment) has changed—you can add or make changes to your benefits coverage.

Does your law school offer any form of domestic-partner benefits to faculty, staff, or students?

Cornell’s generous benefits include coverage for spouses and domestic partners. When you get married or gain a domestic partner—or your spouse or partner’s job status (i.e., lost or gained employment) has changed—you can add or make changes to your benefits coverage.

Additional Information

New York state, generally, and Ithaca, NY, specifically, have a welcoming LGBT and LGBT-friendly community. We have successfully enrolled transgender students. We are expanding our unisex facilities from one to three.

The overall climate for our LGBT students is a welcoming one where students thrive. Our entering class boasted the largest recorded number of LGBT students. Applicants are encouraged to address their sexual orientation/identity in their Personal and/or Diversity statements.