Faculty/Student and Employee/Student Consensual Relationships
Consensual relationships (defined above as a romantic and/or sexual relationship to which both parties have given their consent) between University employees and undergraduate students are prohibited.
Consensual relationships between law students and all employees within the law school are prohibited.
Consensual relationships between law students and non-law school university employees who have the potential to directly impact the student’s academic or professional status or development currently or in the future are prohibited.
Consensual relationships between law students and university employees who believe they are exempted by the preceding sentence are strongly discouraged. Such employees who nevertheless choose to engage in a consensual relationship with a law student may not be defended or indemnified by the University if difficulties in the relationship arise (including, but not limited to, student claims of sexual harassment against the University or employee).
If an ongoing consensual relationship began while both parties were undergraduate or law students and one of the parties thereafter becomes an employee of the University, such a consensual relationship should be disclosed by the employee at the time of hire, but is not prohibited unless the employee has the potential to directly impact the student’s academic or professional status or development currently or in the future. Such an employee may not be defended or indemnified by the University if difficulties in the relationship arise (including, but not limited to, student claims of sexual misconduct against the University or employee).
W&L Law seeks to admit a qualified and diverse student body. In addition to actively soliciting applications from LGBTQ+ candidates through marketing materials (web, email, etc.) highlighting the breadth of diversity at the law school, the law school participates in various national and statewide recruitment events geared towards diverse populations.
We minimize mailed materials to admitted students. All materials detailing affinity groups are accessible online for prospective and admitted students and are highlighted in electronic communications to students.
The law school application includes an optional identification question.
Students may indicate chosen name on a variety of university materials, including the application.
We actively recruit in online publications that are targeted to underrepresented groups.
The university sends out an announcement on its campus notices newsletter that we have an affinity group for personnel who self-identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Those individuals were asked to contact the Assistant Director of Inclusion and Engagement, LGBTQ Support and a member of the human resources team so that they can be added to a confidential spreadsheet and receive notification of programming, events, etc. This spreadsheet is not part of the person’s employment file.
Our self-identification program is entirely confidential.
Our self-identification program is entirely confidential.
Benefits are administered equitably without regard to gender or sexual identity. All employees are eligible for reproductive benefits, annual wellness checks, and leaves of absence.
All of the above are part of our health insurance plan.
We do not provide direct services to partners/spouses through our campus Student Health & Counseling services, but if partners/family members are enrolled in the student health insurance plan, the benefits are the same as for students. Plan summary is available here: https://my.wlu.edu/student-life/health-and-safety/student-health-and-counseling/student-health-insurance/student-insurance-plan and more detailed plan documents are available at http://www.firststudent.com.
One of our clinical counselors is also the LGBTQ Coordinator, and two of the clinicians are Safe Space and Diversity training providers for the campus community. See https://my.wlu.edu/lgbtq-resource-center for additional information on LGBTQ Resources. The university has also funded two additional positions—one in the law school as the Assistant Director of Admissions and Student Affairs, Diversity Recruitment and Engagement, and one for the entire University, the Assistant Director of Inclusion and Engagement for LGBTQ Support in the Office of Inclusion and Engagement — directly related to support for members of the LGBTQ+ community. The Assistant Director of Inclusion and Engagement for LGBTQ Support conducts SafeZone training for the broader community, including to health care providers.
All single-stall restrooms in the building have been converted to all-gender restrooms and are identified with appropriate signage.
There is not a policy directly related to the use of restroom facilities, other than our single-stall all-gender restrooms.
Gender and the Law (offered annually); Feminist and Queer Jurisprudence (offered annually, but not offered in 2022-23, because the instructor is on leave)
We also offer an Employment Discrimination course, which includes some focus on LGBTQ+ issues.
W&L Law’s LGBTQ+ student organization is called OutLaw. OutLaw’s mission is to unite LGBTQ+ law students, faculty, community members, and allies to promote diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, and support for queer issues. The organization welcomes participation and support from people of all different identities, viewpoints, and backgrounds who support the dignity and equality of LGBTQ+ individuals. We further this mission by sponsoring social and educational events at W&L Law, such as bringing in speakers to talk about LGBTQ+ law-related issues, hosting school-wide social events and fundraisers, and providing socials for queer students and OutLaw members. We have also sent OutLaw members to LGBTQ+ events and conferences outside the law school. For example, OutLaw members have attended the LGBT Bar’s Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair, creating meaningful connections within the queer legal community. We additionally work to connect current students with W&L alumni who identify as LGBTQ+ or allies.
Each year, W&L Law supports students who want to attend the National LGBT Bar and Foundation Conference Lavendar Law. We assist with providing funding for transportation, registration, hotel accommodations, meals and incidentals. A member of our career strategy office, who also serves as the staff advisor for the group, often travels with the students as an additional means for support. OutLaw also has organizational funds that will allow for opportunities outside of the Lavendar Law conference should the students wish to engage in other LGBTQ+ focused learning/career services opportunities.
With the exceptions of Authorized Employees and Mandatory Reporters, any individual may make an anonymous report concerning incidents of sexual misconduct. An individual may report the incident without disclosing their name, identifying the respondent, or requesting any action. Depending on the extent of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the University’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited. The Anonymous Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form can be found at: go.wlu.edu/sexualmisconductreport.
The Title IX Coordinator will receive the anonymous report and will determine how to proceed, as appropriate and in compliance with all federal and state legal obligations.
Also, any individual (“complainant”) who believes that he or she has been the object of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation by a member of the faculty, staff, or other non-student (“respondent”), may raise the concern and bring a complaint through these procedures.
The following procedures will be used if the respondent is an employee or other nonstudent at the time of the report. If the respondent is both a student and an employee:
• The student resolution procedures will apply if the respondent is a full-time student but not a full-time employee;
• The employee resolution procedures will apply if the respondent is a full-time employee but not a full-time student; or
• If there is a question as to the predominant role of the respondent, the Title IX Coordinator, with consultation with others as necessary, will determine which of the procedures applies based on the facts and circumstances (such as which role predominates in the context of the conduct).
Note: The procedures outlined here for complaints of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against faculty, staff, and other non-students pertain to obtaining information or filing a complaint with the University. They are not intended in any way to preclude any criminal or civil remedies that may also be available to a person who has been the object of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under state or federal law.
1. Faculty/Staff Complainant
To raise a concern, a faculty or staff complainant may contact any of the following: 1) a Discrimination Policy Adviser (“DPA”); 2) his or her supervisor; 3) any Dean or Associate/Assistant Dean; 4) a Human Resources staff member; or 5) the Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment or the Title IX Coordinator.
2. Student Complainant
A student complainant may contact any of the following: 1) a Discrimination Policy Adviser (“DPA”); 2) a Student Affairs staff member designated in the Resources Contact Guide for this Policy; 3) another Student Affairs resource (e.g. Student Health and Counseling Services, Public Safety, or Residence Life Staff); 4) any Dean or Associate/Assistant Dean; or 5) the Assistant Title IX Coordinator for Employment or the Title IX Coordinator. If the student complainant chooses to contact a Student Affairs staff member, or a Dean or Associate/Assistant Dean, that resource will work with the student to access a DPA.
Anyone may contact a Discrimination Policy Adviser (“DPA”) to raise a concern on their own behalf or on behalf of someone else.
More information on the policy and process can be found at both of these links: https://my.wlu.edu/general-counsel/code-of-policies/discrimination-harassment-and-retaliation/sexual-discrimination-and-misconduct-policy and https://my.wlu.edu/general-counsel/code-of-policies/discrimination-harassment-and-retaliation/university-policy-on-prohibited-discrimination-harassment-and-retaliation-other-than-sex#jump7.
While we do provide training as outlined below, we do not have mandatory training every three years for all staff/faculty/administrators. Mandatory training is provided during new employee orientation and subsequent training is offered to any member of the community during the course of their employment, including supervisors and department heads, and depending on their positions, some staff/faculty/administrators receive periodic training to remain up-to-date with policy revisions and processes.
Yes, mandatory for all students
Students receive mandatory training as part of their 1L orientation and a DEI continuing education session during the second semester of their 1L year. The Office of Inclusion and Engagement has opportunities for optional SafeZone training held four times per year.
The law school created a standing faculty committee comprised of both faculty and staff responsible for addressing concerns related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee meets with students individually and in their affinity groups each semester to guide the work of the committee. A report is produced to the community each year indicating the progress made and other items that are still being addressed. The university has also hired this academic year an Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion who will be focusing on academic affairs, but work in tandem with student affairs and human resources.