Career & Practice

New law school survey tracks inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals

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In terms of openly gay faculty members, the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, with 14, may have the most, according to a new survey from the National LGBT Bar Association.

The Law School Climate Survey uses the term LGBTQ+, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identifying, with the plus representing that the description is all-inclusive. Other reporting law schools with LGBTQ+ faculty were the City University of New York School of Law, which has 11, and Santa Clara University School of Law, which has 10.

Out of 203 ABA-accredited law schools, only 66 participated. A fair amount reported that they didn’t track employees sexual orientation, including UCLA, which got its faculty number from its OUTLaw student organization.

“We are optimistic that next year we will have more schools reporting,” Judi O’Kelley, the organization’s chief program officer, said in a statement. An online toolkit, detailing best practices for creating safe, supportive law school environments for LGBTQ+ people, was released with the survey.

The survey also asked if the law schools intentionally sought out prospective students who are LGBTQ+, and whether they offer scholarships specifically for the population. Additionally, the survey asked law schools if they actively recruited LGBTQ+ individuals for staff, faculty and administrative positions.

“Our Law School Climate Survey’s results demonstrate the effort law schools around the nation are making to be more inclusive and to support marginalized students, faculty and staff. We are delighted with the data we collected, and are confident that our Law School Toolkit will facilitate a continuation of schools’ current forward trajectory,” O’Kelley said in a statement.

Other survey participants include the University of Idaho College of Law, Berkeley Law at the University of California and Louisiana’s Southern University Law Center.

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