Understanding, Promoting and Supporting LGBTQI+ Diversity in Legal Education

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Australian law schools are becoming increasingly diverse. Yet, there is very little quantitative or qualitative data on diversity in law schools and even less research examining how students’ diverse backgrounds and social identities – including their sexual orientation and gender identity – impact on their law student experience. This article begins to fill this gap in the literature by reporting the findings from a study examining the law school experiences of LGBTQI+ students at all law schools within a single Australian state. The study reveals that much of the law school experience is similar for both LGBTQI+ and non-LGBTQI+ students, and that LGBTQI+ law students generally perceive law school to be an accepting and equitable environment. However, compared to their non-LGBTQI+ peers, LGBTQI+ law students self-censor more often, witness more bullying and harassment, and feel more stress when interacting with academic staff. Based on the findings from the study, the article suggests strategies law schools might consider 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
Pages (from-to)307-334
Number of pages28
JournalThe Law Teacher
Issue number3
Early online date24 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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