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Male? Female? Neither? No Problem: Some Law Schools Offer ‘Others’ Option for Applicants

Posted Jul 22, 2010 6:53 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Traditionally, applicants were often asked to check a box stating whether they are male or female.

But as recognition grows that the answer to this question isn't always clear, some law schools are changing their approach to provide greater recognition to the rights of the transgendered. Among these institutions are top national law schools in India, reports the Times of India.

As of the next academic year, they plan to include an "others" category, in addition to male and female, on a standardized law school application form, says vice-chancellor R. Venkata Rao of the National Law School of India University, who characterizes the change as an important human rights move.

"During interaction with transgenders, they pointed out that in application forms, it was always Male or Female in the gender category but there's no mention of Transgenders or Others," he tells the newspaper. "This got us thinking."

Law schools also plan to provide counseling to other students, he says, to try to ensure that transgendered students are treated appropriately.

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