We intentionally seek out diverse students in general, which includes LGBTQ+ students. To this end, we have developed several campaigns (i.e., email, social media, on-campus) that target diverse populations. We run LSAC database reports that return students who identify as diverse and send them specific messaging about our diverse programming and student body, inclusivity, and student and support organizations that they can join upon enrollment.
Our admissions application has an optional question that asks applicants whether they identify as LGBTQ+.
CWSL’s Human Resources Department (“HR”) promotes diversity by posting job ads on various websites/listserves including those administered by diversity groups. There is no standard (across the board) practice, as each recruitment is different. Hiring managers may write specific diversity statements.
HR allows for voluntary self-ID in regards to race/ethnicity, gender, disability status, and veteran status. We do not collect data on gender identity or sexual orientation.
In response to 13a.: Medical services are covered as long as they are medically necessary. Parental leave (PFL) is applied equally to all employees. CWSL does not have a policy that restricts receipt of medical services, however, to determine eligibility for our plan, the beneficiary must be a full-time employee or a dependent (child, spouse, or domestic partner (Pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code section 152))
Transgender Services. Services and supplies are provided in connection with gender transition when you have been diagnosed with gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria by a physician. This coverage is provided according to the terms and conditions of the plan that apply to all other covered medical conditions, including medical necessity requirements, utilization management, and exclusions for cosmetic services. Coverage includes, but is not limited to, medically necessary services related to gender transition such as transgender surgery, hormone therapy, psychotherapy, and vocal training.
California Western is comprised of three building: 225 Cedar Street, 290 Cedar Street and 350 Cedar Street. All-Gender restroom locations on campus are located in all campus buildings as follows:
225 Cedar Street: Two (2) single stall restrooms, 1st floor, (just off the courtyard between the ELC and main building entry)
290 Cedar Street: Two all gender (2) restrooms, 1st and 3rd floors
350 Cedar Street: Three single stall (3) restrooms, Lower Level and 3rd floor
All-Gender restrooms are identified by signage reading ALL GENDER, and a triangle-within-a-circle sign.
Gender, Power, Law and Leadership
PRIDE Law members have traveled to conferences using funds provided by the SBA which is funded by an activity fee to all students.
Yes, mandatory for all students
In addition, to the information already provided, CWSL supports its LGBTQ+ students in a variety of ways, including but not limited to:
1) Supporting PRIDE Law Student Organization’s marking of Transgender Remembrance Day. Since 2018, California Western School of Law and its Student & Diversity Services Office partnered with PRIDE to mark Transgender Remembrance Day with a somber event in which transgender members of the CWSL community and larger San Diego Community could mark the event. In 2020, California Western School of Law supported PRIDE’s request that the CWSL identify their pronouns in the email signature by sending a campus-wide email encouraging participation.
2) CWSL supports PRIDE and the larger community in celebrating PRIDE weekend by attending PRIDE weekend related events.
3) During 2020, CWSL engaged in the following Amelioration Policy. The new federal administration has ended the Trans-Gender Ban so the law school will monitor the situation and engage if necessary.
Amelioration Policy: Although military recruiters are allowed on campus, CWSL has created an Amelioration policy to counter the impact of the military being on campus. Prior to the military coming on to campus during this academic year, the following message was sent to all CWSL community members:
Dear CWSL Students and Staff,
This message provides information about military recruiting on campus and explains California Western’s amelioration efforts in response to the military’s discriminatory hiring practices.
CWSL is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The AALS requires that all employers visiting accredited law schools sign a statement that they will not discriminate against any student in any way. For years, military recruiters (JAG Corps) could not sign such a non-discrimination statement because they were required to enforce the government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. During the time that DADT was in effect, and because of the various ramifications to law schools were they to refuse the military access to their campuses for failure to sign the non-discrimination statements, the AALS permitted accredited schools to allow military recruiters on campus without signing the statements, provided those schools took appropriate ameliorative measures. These measures were intended to underscore the fact that openly LGBTQIA+ students were not eligible to participate in on-campus interviews for JAG positions. DADT was repealed in 2011.
Current Status at CWSL
On March 12, 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a directive implementing its 2018 policy limiting military service by transgender individuals. With few exceptions, transgender persons are not eligible for military service. In light of the new DoD directive, on June 12, 2019, the AALS recommended law schools take steps to ameliorate the directive’s discriminatory effects. California Western will continue to implement its amelioration policies, consistent with the current recommendations of the AALS. We do this to support our students who are excluded and to make a statement against all forms of discrimination. We do not condone discriminating against anyone, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
It bears emphasizing that our efforts are not anti-military. They are designed to support inclusion and tolerance. We want to ensure that all students are given an equal opportunity to pursue a career in their chosen profession. Many CWSL graduates have served in the U.S. military with honor and distinction.
Military recruiters are scheduled to be on campus on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 (Military Recruiting Day).
There will be an information table on the second floor of the 350 Building on September 10, 2019, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Students may visit the table to learn more about these issues and pick up and wear a rainbow button, pin (and wristbands, if available), if they so choose. We are also undertaking a number of additional actions, including flying the Pride and Trans Flags all week, and providing a library display on discrimination.
Click here to read the U.S. Department of Defense’s article “5 Things to Know About DOD’s New Policy on Military Service by Transgender Persons and Persons With Gender Dysphoria.”
Click here to read the policy in full.
Click here to read the American Military Partner Association’s FAQ about the military’s discriminatory policies respecting transgender individuals.
If you have any questions about CWSL’s amelioration efforts, please feel welcome to contact any of the following individuals, or me directly:
Susan G. Finster, Assistant Dean, Student and Diversity Services
Madeline Baker, SBA President
Nick Ahadzadeh, SBA Vice-President
Josh Butner, MVLS President
Ella Crestani, PRIDE President
Vice Dean for Academic and Student Affairs
Associate Professor of Law
California Western School of Law
225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
4) Although CWSL has not provided funding including travel support, for LGBTQ+ students to participate in LGBTQ+-focused learning and/or career services opportunities, such funds may be available should students apply for them. The Student Bar Association administers a Student Conference fund which allows students to apply for funds to attend conferences. Should students request funds to participate in LGBTQ+ focused learning, their applications would be considered.
5) CWSL will pay for students to attend three individual counseling session per trimester. The therapists are private vendors licensed by the state of California. CWSL has sought to ensure that the therapists who contract with CWSL are diverse and reflective of the CWSL community.
6) CWSL supports the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association by being a sponsor of its Annual Dinner.