We've designed this page to provide some information about the law school that we think might be helpful to LGBT prospective students. If you have additional questions or you'd like to talk with a member of OutLaw during a campus visit, e-mail us.
As with the rest of this website, the content below does not reflect the official positions of the university, the law school, or the admissions office.
Does the law school have a policy forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
Yes. Both the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Law School have a non-discrimination policy forbidding discrimination against applicants, students, or employees on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or other factors unrelated to merit. This policy is required by Illinois and Chicago law, the accreditation standards of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and the membership requirements of the Association of American Law Schools.
This non-discrimination policy also forbids harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as peer harassment and same-sex sexual harassment.
Does the university provide benefits to domestic partners?
Yes. In accordance with university policy, same-gender domestic partners of students and employees are eligible for health coverage as well as housing, library, and gym privileges. Children of same-gender domestic partners are also eligible for health coverage.
Does the law school offer courses relating to sexual orientation or gender identity and the law?
Yes. During the last two years, the law school has offered a course entitled Sexual Orientation and the Law, taught by Lecturer James Madigan. (This course, like many upper-level seminars that are not offered every year, will not be offered in 2011-2012.)
A number of other courses deal with issues relating to sexual orientation or gender identity. While the offerings during each academic year may vary, recent years have included courses such as Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection and Due Process; Marriage; Workshop on the Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender; Parent, Child, and State; Sex Discrimination; and Employment Discrimination.
Law school students may also petition to take courses in other divisions of the university, where there are many other course offerings on issues of gender and sexuality.
Are there openly LGBT faculty at the law school?
To our knowledge, no full-time member of the law school's academic faculty is openly LGBT.
There are openly LGBT members of the law school staff, and individuals who identify as LGBT currently hold fellowships at the law school. There are also openly LGBT faculty members in other divisions of the university.
Are there faculty at the law school working in areas relating to sexual orientation or gender identity?
Professors Case, Nussbaum, and Stone all regularly work on legal issues relating to sexual orientation or gender identity, and Professor Harcourt's work on criminal law draws extensively on queer theory. Other faculty may work on issues that are of particular relevance to LGBT individuals, for example, Prof. McAdams’s recent work on hate crimes.
However, there are no members of the faculty for whom sexual orientation or gender identity is the primary focus of their work, and we are not aware of any law school faculty who extensively interacts with gay and lesbian studies or queer theory in their work on LGBT legal issues.
Do the university and the law school have resources directed to the needs of LGBT students?
The university’s Office of LGBTQ Student Life, housed at 5710 South Woodlawn, is a central resource for LGBT students on campus.
Student services such as the the Student Care Center, Student Counseling and Resource Service, and Rockefeller Chapel all strive to be sensitive to LGBT-specific concerns. In terms of academics, the university is home to an active Center for Gender Studies, which also hosts the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project.
The law school is significantly smaller than the university as a whole, and so it does not have a specific office devoted to minority or LGBT concerns. The Office of the Dean of Students and the Office of Career Services are generally supportive and responsive to LGBT-specific issues that may arise.
Does the law school have gender-neutral restrooms?
Yes. The law school does have a single-user, gender-neutral restroom, in the Administrative Wing (on the west side of the law school). The Office of LGBTQ Student Life maintains a list of other gender-neutral restrooms, which may be found in many major buildings on campus.
Last Updated: Oct. 6, 2011