The George Washington Law School will be adding the LGBT status to its application beginning in 2014. The school will become just the fifth out of the top 20 law schools in the country to have this status on applications. The school is going to track the number of gay and transgender applicants in order to better create support services and pair them with alumni, students, and mentors, according to The GW Hatchet.
Student Bar Association senator Michael Komo said, “It’s a signal to LGBT applicants and allies that this is a LGBT-positive law school and University. It would encourage LGBT applicants to apply knowing that GW would be a supportive place for them to be and a good fit.”
The associate dean for admission and financial aid, Sophia Sim, said she does not think the addition of the status on the application will impact the amount of applications. She said that “because we are already well known for being an open community.” She also noted that the Law School Admission Council’s common e-application asks the question already.
She also said that the addition of the question will provide a “better understanding our prospective students allows us to provide more comprehensive information regarding our academic programs, student services and mentoring initiatives.”
The GW law school has recorded perfect scores on the admission council’s LGBT survey because of its policy of non-discrimination, its LGBT student organization, its LGBT specific courses, its LGBT faculty and administrators and domestic partnership benefits offered.
The idea was presented to the administration of the law school by Komo this past fall. Komo compared the law school’s application with its peer schools at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, and the University of Washington. All of these schools include the question on their law school application.
Komo noted that he became inspired to add the question when he visited the law school at Boston University. While there, he met with the president of the gay law student organization to learn about “the LGBT campus life, the faculty and just Boston itself.”
“That was really nice to have that connection immediately if I had any questions or concerns through the application process,” he said.
LGBT applicants will be matched with student mentors or alumni in an effort to help the school “reach diverse candidates and ensure that the law school continues to be a place that is attractive to candidates of all kinds of backgrounds,” Komo said.
The president of Allied in Pride, Nick Gumas, said, “This is a great step forward for the LGBT community, and I hope to see our administration move forward to include this in our University’s undergraduate application as well.”