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Future JD Students

LGBT Survey Results: Northeastern University School of Law

Nondiscrimination Policy

Northeastern University is committed to providing equal opportunity to its students and employees, and to eliminating discrimination when it occurs. In furtherance of this commitment, Northeastern University prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, religious creed, genetics, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, or veteran or disability status. All forms of discrimination or harassment within the university community are unacceptable and will be sanctioned appropriately. Further, university policy and applicable law prohibit retaliation against those who, in good faith, bring or cooperate in complaints of discrimination or harassment.

LGBT Student Organization(s)

The Queer Caucus (QC) is comprised of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, and staff, and their allies. It is one of the school’s most visible and active student groups. Through its many activities, including hosting dinner discussion groups, sending students to regional events sponsored by organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and organizing educational programs about queer issues, the group provides support and resources for the entire community.

Queers United in Radical Rethinking (QUiRR) is a nonhierarchical collective of queer and trans students and allies committed to organizing for social and economic justice. They believe the struggles for queer and trans liberation are inextricably linked with struggles to end all forms of systemic oppression. They are committed to deconstructing the ways in which racism, classism, cis/heterosexism, colonialism, capitalism, and neoliberalism inform mainstream LGBT organizing, and they seek to engage in work that transcends the issues and experiences traditionally privileged in mainstream LGBT movements. Members of QUiRR seek to center the experiences of queer people of color, working-class queer people, undocumented queer people, incarcerated queer people, and others who are situated at the intersections of multiple forms of oppression. They work in solidarity with global and local movements for racial and economic justice, including prison abolition, Palestinian self-determination, migrant justice, access to affordable housing and healthcare, anti-police brutality, militarism, gentrification, and the criminalization of poverty. Through political education and action, creative work, and skill sharing, they collaborate with other student and community groups that share an anti-oppression method of analysis and a commitment to an intersectional approach to organizing.

LGBT Faculty

Libby Adler
Professor of Law
Email: l.adler@northeastern.edu

Gabriel Arkles
Associate Teaching Professor
Email: z.arkles@northeastern.edu

Lucy Williams
Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Public Interest and Pro Bono Initiatives
Email: lu.williams@northeastern.edu

LGBT Administrator(s)

Dan Jackson
Executive Director of the NuLawLab
Email: da.jackson@northeastern.edu

Danielle Navarro
Assistant Director, Admissions and Marketing
LLM and International Programs
Email: d.navarro@northeastern.edu

Nicholas Stiegelmeyer
Assistant Director of Admissions
Email: n.stiegelmeyer@northeastern.edu

LGBT Course(s)

Northeastern University School of Law integrates LGBT issues into many courses. LGBT issues historically have been discussed in constitutional law, contracts, trusts and estates, and family law courses. For example, students might engage in a discussion of governing intestacy (distribution of property for people who die without leaving a will) and how it disadvantages same-sex couples.

We also offer courses and co-ops that specifically focus on LGBT issues, some of which are detailed below.

Legal Skills in Social Context

All first-year students participate in the school’s unique, yearlong Legal Skills in Social Context program, where they are introduced to the core skills of effective team lawyering and given an opportunity to put them into practice through an extensive legal research project on behalf of a community-based or public service organization. The course is taught by a team of full-time faculty with assistance from upper-level student fellows and teaching assistants. Students gain experience conducting legal research, writing clear and persuasive legal documents, performing client representation duties, and practicing critical analysis and oral skills while working as a team. Past projects have involved LGBT-focused organizations like the LGBT Bar Association and the Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition.

Sexuality, Gender, and the Law

This course uses case law and theory to address doctrinal problems and justice concerns associated with gender and sexuality. The syllabus is organized around notions such as privacy, identity, and consent, all of which are conceptual pillars upon which arguments in the domain of sexuality and gender typically rely. Doctrinal topics include same-sex marriage, sodomy, sexual harassment, and discrimination, among others, but the course is not a doctrinal survey; it is a critical inquiry into key concepts that cut across doctrinal areas. Students should expect to write a paper and share some of what they have learned with the class.

Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights

This course examines how sexual and reproductive health laws impede or increase access to sexual and reproductive health care and shape how we understand what constitutes sexual and reproductive health. Attention is paid to understanding legal doctrine and public health research and to critically assessing issues arising from sexual and reproductive health law. The course draws on various tools of analysis, including critical race theory, critical legal theory, human rights, and a range of public health methods. Topics covered include, amongst others, sexual and reproductive health law as it pertains to abortion, sexuality, pregnancy, marriage, health care in prisons, immigrants, HIV/AIDS, and sex education. The course covers both domestic and international issues pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Global AIDS Policy Seminar

The global HIV/AIDS pandemic, the preeminent public health and human rights challenge of our time, is structured by biological, economic, social, and cultural forces ranging from the arcane structures of the international intellectual property regime to the cultural norms that prefigure sexual intimacy. This seminar explores selected policy options for reversing and responding to the tide of infection. Pharmaceutical research, development, and access; neoliberal economic and trade policies; gender relations and prevention policies; global health initiatives and primary health systems; and health care policy and health worker migration—these and many other topics are the subject of classroom discussion and student research papers.

Co-op

Northeastern University School of Law offers the nation’s top experiential law program. Each Northeastern student participates in four varied work experiences (co-ops) during law school. We have many participating co-op employers that focus on LGBT issues, including

  • Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (Boston, MA)
  • Human Rights Campaign (Washington, DC)
  • Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund (Atlanta, GA)
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights (San Francisco, CA)
  • Sylvia Rivera Law Project (New York, NY)
  • Transgender Law Center (San Francisco, CA)
  • Make the Road New York (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Law Office of Joyce Kauffman (Cambridge, MA)
  • San Francisco Human Rights Commission, LGBT and HIV Division (San Francisco, CA)
  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (New York, NY)

Domestic-Partner or Same-Sex Marriage Benefits

Please refer to Northeastern University’s Human Resources website.

Additional Information

Northeastern University School of Law is well known as a community that warmly welcomes LGBT students and produces graduates who are leaders in the LGBT rights movement. Among our path-breaking graduates are Mary Bonauto ’87, the lead GLAD attorney responsible for establishing gay marriage in the United States; Maura Healey ’98, Attorney General of Massachusetts; Richard Burns ’83, former executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in New York; Urvashi Vaid ’83, author of Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation; and Chase Strangio ’10, staff attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project and a leader in representing transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. Our graduates are on the front lines in organizations across the country, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Human Rights Campaign. In addition, Northeastern graduates work in legal services offices and for public interest groups and private practices dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBT individuals and their families.

Our application for admission includes an optional question allowing applicants to self-identify as a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person; those who identify as transgender have the option of indicating which gender they prefer for our records, as well as their preferred name. Northeastern has successfully enrolled and graduated transgender students, and provides unisex facilities available to all students. Our commitment to supporting LGBT issues, the significant LGBT community at the law school, and the openness of our community make us stand apart from many law schools.

Back to LGBT Survey Link

May 21, 2014, 13:28 PM

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