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Future JD Students

LGBT Survey Results: Michigan State University College of Law

Nondiscrimination Policy

College of Law programs, activities, and facilities shall be available to all without regard to race, color, genetic information, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, political persuasion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, height, weight, veteran status, age, or familial status.

LGBT Student Organization(s)

Triangle Bar Association

Mission Statement

Our mission is to work with faculty, administrators, and students to create and ensure an ongoing environment of equal footing within the law school community; to promote awareness regarding pertinent issues and legal challenges that the LGBT community faces.


Any currently enrolled student at MSU Law as well as any faculty or administration member is eligible for the Triangle Bar Association. Any MSU student not enrolled as a MSU law student may be an associate member. There are no membership fees.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Michigan State University College of Law
Triangle Bar Association
412 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300

Additional Triangle Bar Association contacts can be found in the Faculty and Staff Directory.

LGBT Faculty

Nancy Costello
Phone: 517.432.6912

LGBT Administrator(s)

Mary A. Ferguson
Director of Diversity Services
412 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

LGBT Course(s)

  • Law and Gender will concern itself with aspects of the following: protective labor legislation, employment discrimination, sex role discrimination in the law of the family, women and criminal law, and the right of women to equal educational opportunity and the right to choose whether to bear children. A short paper will be assigned on a topic dealing with present and proposed legislation affecting the status of women. There will be a consideration of the theoretical and legal issues associated with the category of gender.
  • The Global Perspectives on Women in Law seminar will consider the international dimensions of gender and the legal profession. Despite cultural differences and varying systems of law, systemic gender inequality is a common thread running through the world’s legal professions. From a  rights-based framework, this course will begin with a historical overview of women’s entrance into the legal profession (law school, the bar, professional practice) in the United States, followed by exploration into their contemporary position, with particular emphasis on the past few decades. The United States, as a starting place, acknowledges our standpoint and provides a context for ultimately shifting to a more global investigation. Students will then explore the history and contemporary situation of women in law across the continents. To foster a meaningful understanding of such comparative dynamics, students will learn about how the law and corresponding legal professions function in other nations and explore the issue of gender within the respective professions. Additional biographical material on key women lawyers will be incorporated when available. The course will focus on history, employment trends, practices, and demographics of women within all sectors of the legal profession, including the judiciary, private practice, the corporate world, academia, and public service. The course will also examine theoretical explanations of inequality, like bias and stereotypes, and will consider other obstacles that have impeded women’s advancement, particularly into positions of leadership. Students will read cases, scholarly articles/publications, personal narratives/biographies, and case studies; investigate qualitative and quantitative research; and consider public policy issues. The course will consider intersections of sex, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
  • The Gender, Power, Law, and Leadership seminar will expose students to various theories of leadership and their intersections with gender, power, and law. The semester will begin with an analysis of power structures through a gendered lens, observing the operation of masculinism and feminism within those structures, especially as they pertain to leadership. We will identify the traits and characteristics associated with leadership and power, and observe the leadership across all sectors of the legal profession and related professions through analysis of recent benchmarking research. The seminar will focus on both personal and organizational leadership, examine the various double binds facing women leaders, identify barriers and obstacles that have impeded women’s advancement into leadership positions, analyze the ways in which leadership is conveyed in culture (vis à vis the media), and ultimately explore how power, gender, and leadership intersect and operate in the fields of law and politics. We will consider whether gender impacts judicial decision-making and political candidacy. Students will also read a biography of their choice during the semester, featuring a transformative leader. Throughout the semester, students will learn, through the readings and class discussions, about various characteristics of leaders and organizational dynamics, further aiding them in their entrance into the powerful profession of law.

Domestic-Partner or Same-Sex Marriage Benefits

Michigan State University College of Law offers health benefits under Blue Cross and Blue Shield and dental benefits under Delta Dental of Michigan to all full-time faculty and staff members, regardless of their sexual orientation. The benefits include coverage for the spouse or domestic partner as well as family.

Additional Information

Michigan State University College of Law embraces our nondiscriminatory policy and diversity mission in every facet of our institution. Programs, gender neutral restrooms, and pronoun preference are examples of how the LGBT faculty, staff, students, and allies have worked collaboratively to ensure a welcoming and informed environment for all.

A core community of the MSU Law Diversity Services Office (DSO) are members who identify as LGBT. Each year, these members serve an integral role in advancing the DSO mission.

Back to LGBT Survey Link

May 21, 2014, 13:28 PM

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