We intentionally seek out LGBTQ+ prospective students. We do this by sending directed emails to all students who identify as LGBTQ+ through LSAC. We have also met directly with our undergraduate LGBTQ+ student organization, and we have sent information about events to diversity offices and LGBTQ+ offices at various state and region-wide undergraduate institutions. If a prospective student connects with us and self-identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, we will try to connect them with a current student or alum who is also a member of the community.
Our law school application states:
Gender/LGBTQ Washburn Law recognizes that gender is not binary. Consequently, regardless of which gender option you selected from the options above, feel free to share any additional information with us here. (preferred pronouns, etc.)
Do you identify as a member of the LGBTQ community or as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer person? ____ Yes ____ No
If you are not “out” and would like Washburn Law to maintain your identity status as confidential, please check “yes” below. ____ Yes ____ No
Please feel free to share any comments about your answer in the box below. If you find this space to be insufficient, you may include an addendum on this topic.
Washburn advertises staff positions in many outlets to reach diverse applicants. For faculty we recruit through the AALS faculty recruitment process. That process allows applicants to self-identify as LGBTQ+. As part of the hiring process, Washburn considers many factors, including the diversity of its faculty and staff.
FMLA is administered according to the federal regulations. Health insurance is based on the marriage status – regardless of sex. Surrogate mother coverage is the same as birth mother except if the petition to adopt is not filed there are no benefits for a surrogate mother. A petition to adopt the child must be filed within 90 days of birth. Insurance will not wait for the adoption to be final prior to paying the birth mother benefits; however, the adopting parents must have filed a petition for the adoption. There is no benefit for the surrogate mother in the event of miscarriage or stillbirth.
For the purpose of health insurance, transgender benefits are not excluded. We also offer an employee assistance program.
Students may purchase health insurance through a third-party provider, and can go beyond individual coverage to cover a lawful same-sex spouse or lawful same-sex domestic partner. Medically necessary in-vitro fertilization or any other medically aided insemination procedure is covered.
No student receives family medical leave, parental leave, or adoptive benefits as an employee would, but all students receive consideration for absences due to family duties and emergencies as are consistent with the attendance policies in place under ABA accreditation requirements.
Health Services Director’s Response: I am so glad to hear this survey is asking about care for our LGBTQ+ students! Sam and I, along with the rest of SHS staff have all been through ALLY training on campus. We have each completed multiple hours of continuing education courses through the Fenway Institute and the National LGBT health education center. We have inclusive language on our clinic forms and in our health screening questions. I worked with a group of MSN students a few years ago to create care pathways for our transgender students at various levels of their transition. I was a presenter on this topic for the Kansas Center for Cultural Competency Advancement in Spring of 2018. We have worked with Diversity and Inclusion on campus for “Gaypril” events and other education opportunities. Sam and I are both listed as resource people on campus for our LGBTQ+ students. We have helpful links on our webpages for further information on these topics.
Counseling Services Director’s Response: My formal training comes from a graduate course in ethics and diversity. The texts we utilized were Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice by Hays and Counseling the Culturally Diverse, Theory and Practice, by Sue and Sue. I mention the texts because Sue and Sue are the “go to” in the field for cultural competency literature. Since then, webinars & seminars related to my advocacy credential, ALLY training on campus, and individual therapy work with our LGBTQ+ population here on campus have been my primary means of maintaining culturally competent practice for this population. When needed, I’ve also reconnected with supervisors and mentors for specific guidance in treatment and practice with LGBTQ+ clients.
Additional University Counselor’s Response: My training background and updates are similar to Crystal’s experience. My formal training is through my graduate program course in working with diverse populations (using the Sue and Sue text Crystal mentioned). Since then, I continue to search out my own readings and resources, consult with experienced supervisors on specific therapeutic cases or issues, and pursue trainings including the ALLY training and various continuing education courses.
Campus Advocate Response: I participate in webinars that focus on advocacy for LGBTQ populations. We all have participated in the Ally training offered at Washburn. I also actively seek out literature related to the LGBTQ populations and their increased risk factors for violence/discrimination and how to best support them.
Restroom in law school and restroom in law school clinic with signs stating “Open to All,” which are accessible for people with disabilities and are identified online here.
See answer to 18 and 18a: we have restrooms in the law school and restroom in clinic that are accessible and open to all.
Constitutional Law II: 2-3 hours
Comparative Constitutional Law: 1 hour
Employment Discrimination: 2-3 hours
Employment Law: 1-2 hours
Family Law: 4 hours
International Human Rights Law: 1 hour
Public Employment Law: 1 hour
We host programming geared toward the LGBTQ+ population and educating our students/faculty on LGBTQ+ issues. For example, our LGBTQ+ organization (Genders & Sexualities Alliance, or GSA) applied for and received funding in 2020 from the ABA Law Student Division to help co-sponsor, with the law school and university, a Lunch & Learn presentation by Professor Jeremiah Ho this March regarding his article “Queer Sacrifice in Masterpiece Cakeshop,” published by the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. This in-person presentation had to be postponed due to Covid, but we are very much looking forward to hosting Professor Ho next year.
And despite Covid, Washburn Law’s Genders and Sexualities Alliance was still very active fall 2020, hosting a Zoom presentation by Professor Steve Sanders of Indiana University Maurer School of Law on November 11, 2020 titled “After Bostock: The Future of LGBT Protections in the Supreme Court.”
• Hosted a socially-distanced and masked (also available on Zoom) viewing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” on October 29, 2020, complete with traditional dialogue and props, both as a fun reprieve for exhausted students but also as a gateway to discussing sexism and societal gender norms.
• Gave out buttons on their organization bulletin board that announces the wearer’s preferred pronouns.
• Investigated advance and mail-in voting options for state citizens and interviewed the state election commissioner.
• Coordinated with other student groups on a petition to the state legislature to ban the Gay Panic defense.
Projects for spring 2021 include:
• Preparing a packet for students that are transitioning, with a checklist of what forms need to be turned in to the university, with a guide for removing deadnames from class rosters with professors.
• Working on a Discover the Law initiative to reach out to Topeka high school students, to get them interested in the law and legal issues concerning diverse communities, and give them the opportunity to see and interact with professionals.
Dean Pratt is very invested in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, as are the faculty. Dean Pratt received the Philip J. McConnaughay award for outstanding achievement in diversity-related work and has served on a Commission for LGBTQ Equity.
We are a small law school (316 students) that provides an open-door, supportive, and welcoming environment to our students, which tends to be echoed by the student body. Each entering class is broken into small groups of approximately 5 students led by trained and rigorously selected upper-class law students who provide guidance and support to students during their first semester. Sometimes the leaders are from the LGBTQ+ community. All groups are told about our LGBTQ organization and given the contact information of the officers. Each entering student also has the opportunity to meet with LGBTQ officers.
The university provides excellent ALLY training multiple times each semester, which is open to all faculty, staff, and students. The university also hosts a Gender Brown Bag Series, which gives faculty, staff, students, and community members the opportunity to come together over the noon hour and discuss gender issues. The law school provides diversity and inclusion training and discussion at faculty meetings and at the staff retreats.
Many of our faculty and staff attend events sponsored by the local alternative community and support their causes and organizations. Our Associate Dean for Centers and External Programs has given pro bono assistance to Positive Connections, a local non-profit support organization for sexual health and support services, including HIV and other issues. Assistance has been given with legal issues, including sale and purchase of the commercial property for their current site as well as providing board member training for their governing board.
The law school regularly hosts programming geared toward the LGBTQ+ population and educating our students/faculty on LGBTQ+ issues.
Washburn Law partnered with the Kansas Federal Bar Association in 2019 as the only regional law school to live stream a full day Diversity in the Law continuing legal education program from the Federal District Court in Kansas City. Washburn Law professors and a student presented on an afternoon panel session entitled, “LGBTQ V. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM” specifically addressing current legal issues facing these groups from a constitutional and political context.
Washburn Law won the LSAC Midwest Region Diversity Matters Award in 2019 for its hosting of “Q&A: Queers and Allies Discover the Law” LGBTQ Discover Law Day Event—a full day of programming designed for HS and college students with an interest in learning about the current state of the law as it pertains to the LGBTQ community. Presenters addressed various issues, including same-sex couples and marriage, and name and gender marker changes. The event featured a panel of current LGBTQ law students and LGBTQ Washburn Law alumni attorneys discussing their law school experiences.