Action Items

Many of the action items listed below originated from the March 2020 Law School Community Meeting, while others are new additions. We are continuing to explore and plan additional action items to take toward a more diverse and inclusive community.

Strategy Development

Action Item

Progress/Status

Develop a law school Diversity & Inclusion Plan that lays out short-term and long-term principles and goals for achieving a more equitable law school, and we will share important updates related to the plan on a new webpage devoted to issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Website launched June 2020; plan development in progress.

Hire a consultant to conduct a climate survey to collect data on law student experiences and set a baseline for growth and improvement. This data will supplement ongoing conversations and individual student experiences shared with your administration.

Will partner with University to conduct climate survey in coming school year; all law school departments tasked with interal diversity and inclusion review process.

Events, Training & Programming

Action Item

Progress/Status

NEW: Launch a school-wide book discussion group on topics of racial and social justice.

Launched Fall 2020.

Add workshops, training, and events for faculty and staff on topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. These sessions will occur a minimum of once per semester.

Inclusive pedagogy training for faculty took place in early Fall 2020. Offered several programs for Fall 2020 focusing on issues of racial justice. Currently investigating additional speakers and programs for the future.

Increase by $10,000 existing funding for student events that promote diversity and inclusion, or for travel to conferences and job fairs that promote diversity and inclusion.

Increased funding now available.

Establish monthly meetings between the SBA Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Law School administration.

Regular meetings established June 2020.

Host a Community Meeting every semester for discussion and feedback on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Next meeting scheduled for Fall 2020.

Re-evaluate the diversity and inclusion-focused portion of New Student Orientation.

  • Orientation now includes a mandatory asynchronous module on implicit bias designed by University of Richmond professor Kristjen Lundberg. The module takes approximately 40 minutes to complete and includes videos, the Harvard implicit bias test, and opportunities for anonymous student reflection on the topic of implicit bias.
  • Students are required to complete a mandatory asynchronous module on reporting complaints, bias incidents, and Title IX issues.
  • Also included is an optional hour-long discussion of implicit bias with Professor Lundberg.
  • Optional DEI content and activities are also made available to students during orientation. This year that included Wendell Taylor’s “Our Pain” podcast and a DEI-oriented virtual service opportunity.

New Reporting Avenues

Action Item

Progress/Status

Make available an online form for students to provide feedback to Law School administrators on issues including diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Form available on Current Students webpage (under "Student Complaint Process").

Collaborate with Common Ground to review the Student Complaint process for acts of bias, including how it functions in the Law School and whether it should be improved.

Review conducted March 2020; complaint process education integrated into New Student Orientation and student leader training; process explained on new webpage.

Recruitment & Hiring

Action Item

Progress/Status

Review recruitment techniques in admissions, including developing new marketing materials and incorporating more student experiences on the website.

Admissions team has increased its outreach to underrepresented populations through seminars/presentations; established partnerships with student affinity groups to help engage prospective students; hosted diversity events for admitted students.

Work on building admissions pipeline and funding opportunities to increase diversity.

Admissions team has applied for and will continue to apply for diversity grants; admitted student stipend program now applies to all students, not just matriculants; continuing work on pipeline programs for underrepresented populations interested in attending law school.

Use a trained diversity advocate on hiring teams for both faculty and staff positions.

For future faculty searches, each faculty search committee will have a designated Diversity and Search Advocate who will undergo University training.In addition, members of all faculty and staff search committees will be required to complete a University training module on Creating an Equitable Search Process.

Other Initiatives

Action Item

Progress/Status

NEW: Add cultural competency component to student evaluations of faculty.

Launched at close of Spring 2020 semester.

NEW: Library will compile resource guide on issues of racial justice.

Guide posted on Resource page.