Creating accessible, nondiscriminatory, and effective law school experiences for trans and gender nonconforming students requires commitment and willingness to change. Many everyday classroom practices and longstanding university policies created with the best of intentions can harm trans and gender nonconforming students because they are based on inaccurate assumptions about gender. Partly because of these policies and practices, relatively few openly trans and gender nonconforming people hold positions — especially the most powerful and prestigious positions — as faculty, staff, or students in law schools. Fortunately, more and more trans and gender nonconforming people are entering law schools and many cisgender people want to learn how to work with them respectfully and effectively. Like most worthy endeavors, transforming law schools to better support trans and gender nonconforming students is not so much a matter of checking items off a list as engaging in an ongoing process. It requires participation of diverse stakeholders, attention to the particulars of unique institutions and situations, and respect for the perspectives of the people who are most directly impacted: trans and gender nonconforming students themselves. This piece helps faculty take steps to improve some of their practices quickly and to start this larger process. It addresses several major areas, such as pronoun and name use; curricular inclusion; and institutional change, by providing examples of practices that need improvement, and examples of improved practices.
Date of Authorship for this Version
curricular inclusion, pronoun and name use
Arkles, Gabriel, "Improving Law School for Trans and Gender Nonconforming Students: Suggestions for Faculty" (2014). School of Law Faculty Publications. 22.