Our application form includes two questions, both optional to answer: 1. Do you consider yourself to me a member of the LGBTQA community? This question is optional and will be used only by the admissions committee to gain a better understanding of the whole person whose application is being reviewed. (A yes/no choice is provided) 2. Please feel free to share any additional information about your response to the above question and/or a brief description of your gender identity. This question is optional and will be used by the admissions committee to gain a better understanding of the whole person whose application is being reviewed.
We follow Penn State’s nondiscrimination policy as described above and seek to create a diverse community, and if a candidate self-identifies as LGBTQ+, connect them with various resources and sources of information about what it’s like to live in State College and work at Penn State as an LGBTQ+ person.
Our policy regarding dependents explicitly lists same-sex spouses.
A description of the health benefits for trans and nonbinary employees can be found here.
Student parents have access to childcare facilities with a subsidy, as outlined here: https://hr.psu.edu/child-care-subsidy. Student health insurance plans generally do not include assisted reproduction or adoption services. Other services such as mammograms, prostate exams, etc. are available to students of all genders.
Information can be found here.
The counseling center has an explicit statement of its commitment to diversity, which I have seen borne out through outreach and targeted services for the LGBTQ+ community.
We have two all-gender restrooms (labeled as such) on the ground floor of the Katz Building, both accessible for people with disabilities.
We follow Penn State’s policy: “In keeping with the University’s policy of nondiscrimination and the commitment to inclusion, the University allows students, staff, faculty, and visitors to use the restroom or facility that corresponds to their gender identity.”
We have a course on Sexuality and the Law offered every other fall that is entirely dedicated to LGBTQ+ content. The class is intentionally set as a course in a large classroom so that enrollment is not capped.
We regularly send interested students to the Lavender Law conference, our Career Services office runs several diversity-related information sessions that include LGBTQ-specific scholarships, and both Outlaw and the office of the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion sponsor events such as lectures, panels, etc. on LGBTQ+ focused learning.
Penn State runs a training program called “Safer People Safer Places” for faculty and staff about how to be an effective ally to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Upon completion of one of the workshops, participants are offered a sticker (design visible here) that they are encouraged to display somewhere like their office door to signal to students that they will be a supportive ally. Second, in recent semesters our Career Services office has sent out an email to the entire school before a first visit from military recruiters noting that the current ban of transgender servicemembers does not follow our nondiscrimination policy and reiterating our support for trans members of our community, including trans veterans. Third, the Dean and administrators meet informally with LGBTQ+ students and groups to listen to concerns and constructively identify solution to make the law school a place where everyone feels included.
As discussed below, we invite students to self-identify as LGBTQ+ and direct specific outreach to those applicants with more information about being an LGBTQ+ student at Penn State Law.