Understanding How LGBTQI+ Students Experience Law School

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


The past two years have made it more apparent than ever that different students experience law school in very different ways. But there exists very little quantitative or qualitative data on diversity in law schools, and even less examining how students’ diverse backgrounds and social identities – including their sexual orientation and gender identity – impact on their law student experience.

This paper reports findings from a cross-institutional study which examined the law school experiences of LGBTQI+ students and recent graduates at all law schools in Western Australia. The findings reveal that much of the law school experience is similar for both LGBTQI+ and non-LGBTQI+ students, and that LGBTQI+ law students generally perceive their law school to be an accepting and fair environment. However, the findings also show that, compared to their non-LGBTQI+ peers, LGBTQI+ law students self-censor more often, witness more incidents of bullying and harassment, and feel greater levels of stress when interacting with academic staff.

From these findings, the presenters will discuss strategies that law schools might consider in order better to support LGBTQI+ diversity, visibly promote acceptance of ‘otherness’ in tangible ways, and ensure a safe learning environment in which all students can flourish.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventLegal Education Research Conference - UNSW, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 26 Nov 202127 Nov 2021


ConferenceLegal Education Research Conference
Internet address


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