The law school intentionally highlights to all prospective applicants the available affinity groups, including the law school’s Equity Alliance, and asks applicants to self-select any and all they may be interested in. Prospective students who indicate an interest in learning about our LGBTQ+ community are then contacted by our Admissions office so they can be connected with a current student as part of the recruitment and admissions process.
Students may self-identify through a diversity statement included with their application. Students may also identify on their application/post-enrollment forms with a gender identity other than their legal gender; with a preferred name other than their legal name; and by selecting their preferred pronouns. Students may edit these personal details themselves. The University’s chosen name and pronouns policy may be found here: https://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/policies/chosen-name-pronouns-policy/
Self-identification is optional, and students who choose to self-identify do not need to do so with a prescribed level of specificity. For example, a student may choose to self-identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community but need not also specify whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual/pansexual, and/or transgender/nonbinary.
Students self-identify through various means (e.g., admissions statements, post-enrollment forms) but the information does not get entered into any central tracking mechanism. If a student is identified as LGBTQ+ they are added to a career services diverse student email distribution list.
The University’s chosen name and pronouns policy may be found here: https://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/policies/chosen-name-pronouns-policy/
Recruitment efforts are directed to the fora where there is the broadest potential reach. For example, faculty recruitment efforts include the largest faculty job forum (offered by the Association of American Law Schools). There is also targeted outreach to publications designated for the specific category of staff/faculty/administrators being sought, regardless of geographic location, to encourage all individuals with related experience to apply.
Staff/faculty/administrators may self-identify on their post-offer/hire forms, and at any point during their employment, with a gender identity other than their legal gender; with a preferred name other than their legal name; and by selecting their preferred pronouns. Employee may edit these personal details themselves. The University’s chosen name and pronouns policy may be found here: https://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/policies/chosen-name-pronouns-policy/
The University is a public state institution and, as a result, its employee benefits are set by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management. According to the Commonwealth’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, all aspects of human resource management must be conducted without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, veterans status, political affiliation, disability, genetic information, and pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. We answered “unsure,” however, because each employee’s benefits are determined, in part, on which health insurance plan/policy the employee selects.
The University is a public state institution and, as a result, its employee benefits are set by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (VDHRM). According to a VDHRM guidance memorandum, as employees undergo a gender transition, they may utilize leave and other benefits according to policy requirements. (See https://www.dhrm.virginia.gov/docs/default-source/hrpolicy/policyguides/gender-transition-guidance-revised.pdf?sfvrsn=0). We selected “unsure” because policy requirements will depend, in part, on the health insurance plan/option selected by the employee.
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The student benefit plans do not offer adoptive benefits to any student.
We consulted with the University’s Student Health Services office and Counseling and Psychological Services office and confirmed that on-campus health care providers are trained to ensure they can provide culturally and clinically competent care to LGBTQ+ patients, particularly transgender and non-binary patients. All healthcare staff are required to complete diversity and ethics training through the university. In addition, staff are trained on cultural competency and safe zone training administered through the University’s LGBTQ office. Student Health Services also administers a patient satisfaction survey asking patients if felt they were treated with respect and dignity, in order to monitor our patients’ experiences. Patients are asked about their preferred name and pronoun and the information is noted in the patient’s medical chart so that the patient’s preferences around identity are respected. Please also see GMU Student Health Services patient rights: https://shs.gmu.edu/about/#ptrights.
Unisex bathrooms are available to law students in the building adjacent to the law school (and connected to the law school building on all non-parking levels). The unisex bathrooms are proximately close to law school classrooms making them easily accessible to law students. The law school administration explored converting one or more bathrooms in the law school building (built in 1997-1999) to a unisex/gender-neutral bathroom but was informed that all of the existing Men’s and Women’s restrooms are multi-fixture (toilet) restrooms, including those in the library space, and the University could not convert one to a single-use or gender-neutral restroom because the total fixture count per floor is a building code-required number based on the floor occupant load.
The law school has no policy that directly applies to restroom facilities and relies instead on the University’s non-discrimination policy that the University is committed to “providing equal opportunity and an educational and work environment free from any discrimination on the basis of . . . sex . . . sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression . . . .” (See University Policy 1201, Non Discrimination Policy, available at: https://universitypolicy.gmu.edu/policies/non-discrimination-policy/.)
Sexuality and the Law (Law 390). LGBTQ+ content is also included in other courses (e.g., Constitutional Law, Legislation).
Each year the law school sends students to conferences, including Creating Change and Lavender Law. The law school pays the registration fee for the Lavender Law Career Fair and provides stipends for travel costs. Funding is provided for an annual Transgender Name & Gender Marker Change Legal Clinic, co-hosted with the Bar. Our Equity Alliance group also receives funding to hold regular events, such as movie screenings and speaker panels.
The University maintains a bias incident reporting system that complements, but does not substitute for, University procedures regarding the reporting of discrimination, including sexual misconduct, to the Office of Compliance, Diversity, and Equity. The University’s non-discrimination policy is mandatory. The separate bias incident reporting process is optional but strongly encouraged. According to the University’s website: “Bias incidents can hinder our capacity to work with, teach, and learn from one another. If you observe or experience an incident of bias, we encourage you to file a bias incident report to Mason’s Bias Incident Reporting Team.” It goes on to explain that a bias incident is an act of “discrimination, harassment, intimidation, violence or criminal offense committed against any person, group or property that appears to be motivated by prejudice or bias.” The law school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page links directly to the Bias Incident Report page (where information and a reporting link is available) as well as to the Office of Compliance, Diversity, and Equity.
Yes, mandatory for all students
Yes, optional for all students
The law school includes mandatory diversity and inclusion training as part of student orientation that includes discussion of LGBTQ+ and anti-racism. There is additional diversity and inclusion training offered for students that is optional including a DE&I certificate program. The optional training for faculty, staff, administrators, and students does include robust LGBTQ+ and anti-racism curriculum.
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