We are able to directly recruit LGBTQ+ students through LSAC’s CRS feature. Utilizing the information from the CRS queries, we are able to send specific communication to LGBTQ+ prospective students about the programs and initiatives we have here on campus. We also include our Alliance for Equality in a panel discussion with prospective students.
Our Accepted Student folder includes a list of all student organizations, including those for LGBTQ+ students and students of color.
Applicants are not required to put their prefix or gender on their law school admission application. In addition, they are asked for their preferred name for the school to use in correspondence, and it can be any name of their choosing.
Throughout its history, the Law School has been committed to having a full-time faculty that is diverse with respect to its gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Over half of the Law School’s tenured and tenured earning faculty members are women. Two full-time faculty members are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Four full-time faculty members (17.39%) of the overall full-time faculty count add racial/ethnic diversity, LGBTQ+ diversity, or both.
When it is determined that there is a need to hire additional faculty, the Faculty Recruitment and Diversity Committee undertakes a thorough search for qualified faculty candidates, including women and members of underrepresented groups. The committee reviews candidates who are participating in the AALS Appointments Register and from direct contacts and referrals both locally and nationwide. The committee also reviews and considers resumes from individuals not currently in academia as well as recommendations from judges and attorneys for positions that might bring diversity to the school.
The Law School has also continued to initiate concrete actions to ensure diversity in its hiring practices for staff positions. To reach the largest candidate pool possible, the Human Resource department conducts both local and nationwide searches. These searches include using a wide variety of job sites, hiring sources, third party websites, the Law School’s website, association career placement websites, and advertising through such diverse channels as Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster, Symplicity, ZipRecruiter, and Handshake. In addition, Human Resources also utilize listservs, local newspapers, and trade periodicals, and encourages existing employees to refer diverse candidates. Once resumes are received, identifying characteristics of the applicant are removed allowing candidates to be chosen for interviews based solely on the matching of skills and experience to the posted job description. The blind search allows for a more diverse pool of well-qualified applicants chosen without regard to possible personal biases. During the interview process, the hiring team includes the Human Resource department, the department head for the position to be hired, and other select employees of varied backgrounds and diversity.
The results of these efforts are as follows. Since January of 2020, the Law School has had a full-time staff between 38 and 41 employees. Although this is a slightly smaller overall staff population than the previous year, the percentage of non-faculty employees from minority groups has increased. In December of 2020, 10 out of 44 (22.7%) non-faculty employees were from minority groups. In December of 2021, 10 out of 38 (26.3%) non-faculty employees were from minority groups. The Law School has also maintained a gender diversity in staff of approximately two thirds female for more than four years.
The Human Resources department sends, via email, a voluntary survey to all employees of the Law School.
BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina Inc. Amendment to Provide for Coverage of Domestic Partners And Children of Domestic Partners
Form # 2008.3
Subject to the terms and provisions set forth below and all provisions of the Contact, the Contract is amended to allow Coverage of Domestic Partners and children of Domestic Partners as Covered Dependents of Subscribers. The Employer shall be the administrator of the Plan represented by the Contact.
Article I – Definition of Domestic Partner
A Domestic Partner is a Dependent of the Subscriber who:
1. Is unmarried, at least 18 years of age, mentally competent, resides with the Subscriber and intends to reside with the Subscriber for an indefinite amount of time; and;
2. Is not related to the Subscriber by adoption or blood; and;
3. Is the sole Domestic Partner of the Subscriber, with whom he/she has a close committed and personal relationship, and has been a member of this domestic partnership for the last 12 months; and;
4. Agrees to be jointly responsible for the basic living expenses and welfare of the Subscriber; and;
5. Is financially interdependent. Financial interdependence is demonstrated by submission of three or more of the following documents:
A. a joint mortgage or lease; or;
B. a designation of one of the partners as beneficiary in the other partner’s Will or life insurance policy; or;
C. a durable property and health care powers of attorney; or;
D. a joint title to an automobile; or;
E. a joint bank account or credit account; or;
F. such other proof as is sufficient to establish economic interdependency under the circumstances of the particular case.
Article II – Eligibility for Coverage as Domestic Partner
The Subscriber and applicant for coverage as a Domestic Partner will be required to sign an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership. BlueChoice HealthPlan reserves the right to request documentation of any of the foregoing prior to commencing coverage of the Domestic Partner.
Article III – Eligibility for Coverage of Children of Domestic Partners
To be eligible for Coverage as a Subscriber’s Covered Dependent, a Domestic Partner’s child, who has not been legally adopted by Subscriber, must be living with Subscriber and Subscriber’s enrolled Domestic Partner on a full-time basis in a permanent parent-child relationship. In addition, the child must meet the qualifications of Dependent as described in the Certificate of Coverage.
Subscriber and/or Subscriber’s Domestic Partner may be required to furnish written proof of a child’s eligibility for Coverage as a Domestic Partner’s child.
Article IV – Enrollment of a Domestic Partner and/or Child(ren) of a Domestic Partner
An Employee may enroll an eligible Domestic Partner and/or eligible child(ren) of a Domestic Partner during the Employer’s Initial Enrollment Period or during an Open Enrollment period, if applicable.
Dependent(s) resulting from the creation of a domestic partnership (as outlined in Article I) must apply for coverage within 31 days after meeting the requirements stated in Article I. Appropriate Premiums must be paid to BlueChoice HealthPlan for such Dependent(s) to have coverage from the date of the domestic partnership.
Domestic Partners are not considered to be tax-qualified dependents by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), unless they satisfy specific statutory requirements and the Employee declares the Domestic Partner or their children on the Employee’s tax return. Therefore if the Employee elects Domestic Partner coverage, the IRS may tax the Employee for the value of benefits provided. The Employee should consult their own personal tax advisor to determine how these tax implications affect the Employee.
Termination of Coverage of a Domestic Partner and/or Child(ren) of a Domestic Partner
In addition to terminating when a Subscriber’s coverage terminates, a Domestic Partner and the children of the Domestic Partner coverage terminates when the domestic partnership is dissolved. An Affidavit of Termination of Partnership must be completed by the Subscriber and submitted to the Employer and the Employer must also send an Enrollment Application and Change form to cancel this person from coverage within 31 days of dissolution.
All other Plan termination of coverage provisions apply to a Domestic Partner and the children of the Domestic Partner.
Under current law, a Domestic Partner and children of a Domestic Partner are not entitled to Continuation of Coverage under COBRA. All other Plan provisions regarding State-mandated continuation of coverage after termination of employment apply.
Timothy L. Vaughn
President and Chief Operating Officer
The School of Law maintains a contractual agreement with the Medical University of South Carolina Employee and Student Assistance Program which entitles all students and employees of the School of Law access to mental health services and counseling throughout the year on a free, confidential basis. Services are provided in-person at an off-campus location, or via telehealth capabilities and include: individual assessment and counseling; couples counseling (regardless of marital status); and crisis management.
For Spring Semester 2022, the law school offers a 3-credit hour course: Reproductive Rights and Justice. The course description states:
This course includes examination and discussions surrounding reproductive health including abortion and contraception law and policy, as well as regulation of individual’s actions during pregnancy. There will also be a focus on the legal and ethical questions surrounding assisted reproductive technologies, sexuality, adoption, and parenting. We will use an interdisciplinary framework approach using various bodies of law, historical analysis, and current events to demonstrate Reproductive Justice and the role that culture, gender, race, class, sexual orientation, and other marginalized people face concerning their reproductive decision making.
The Professor estimates that about 55% of the course time presents opportunities to discuss reproductive justice for the LGBTQ+ community. Issues involving marriage and family are also discussed.
Student members of the Alliance for Equality are eligible to access grants through the School of Law’s Student Bar Association to attend and participate in LGBTQ+ focused learning opportunities throughout the United States. Additionally, the Department of Career Services offers funding and support for applicable students to attend the annual Southeastern Minority Job Fair in Atlanta, GA.
Charleston School of Law currently has 593 students. In class and out of class, our students are encouraged to be respectful and honest. They are encouraged to operate with integrity. In these interactions, our students are encouraged to listen to each other and when disagreeing, to do so with civility. The oath to practice law in South Carolina requires civility. Our students learn throughout their law school days to practice civility. Respect and civility includes our LGBTQ+ family. The Office of Diversity Initiatives provides programming and events specifically addressing LGBTQ+ speakers and issues. For example, one of the speakers for Diversity Week 2022 is the former President of Alliance for Equality; he is gay; and he serves as Mayor of a town in South Carolina. The majority of our speakers emphasize the importance of treating all people with respect. Our Externship Program has one class on diversity and inclusion and that class addresses LGBTQ+ issues. The programming, classes, and expectations are ways in which Charleston School of Law works to be safe, inclusive, and welcoming for its LGBTQ+ students, administrators, staff, and faculty.