This week marks Fowler School of Law’s 10th annual Diversity Week celebration, a law school event that showcases the school’s commitment to providing an inclusive, diverse, and safe environment. Past Diversity Week events have included special speakers, panel presentations, international food fairs, and symposia. Hosted by the administration and student organizations, the activities provide an opportunity for all members of the community to celebrate and embrace our differences. Diversity Week was created in 2007 by Jayne Kacer, the law school’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Administration, who has overseen the program since its inception.
2016 Diversity Week events include presentations on “Aging In Society” (Monday), “Civil Rights and the Muslim Community” (Wednesday), and a Social Justice Symposium, “
Blinded Justice: A Discussion About Whether The Legal System Values and Protects Diverse Communities
Chapman University Fowler School of Law is proud of its ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. Below is a list of the many areas in which the school has been a leader in its diversity efforts, resulting in a steady rise in minority representation in its student population.
- Chapman’s most recent incoming class has 42% minority representation.
- Chapman strongly supports diversity and inclusiveness in its more than 40 student organizations, which represent various groups, including ethnic, cultural, religious, political, public interest, gender, and sexual orientation. The groups are an active part of law school life and all students are supported in the creation of new organizations to fit special interest areas.
- Chapman received the Law School Admission Council’s DiscoverLaw.Org Diversity Matters Award in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
- In 2015, the law school approved the Diversity Initiative and Publication project, which consists of leaders from multiple student organizations committed to diversity in the legal profession. The organization received $10,000 from the law school and the university to fund the 2016 symposium, “Blinded Justice: A Discussion about Whether the Legal System Values and Protects Diverse Communities.”
- Chapman faculty members have published on a wide range of topics addressing diversity and social justice, including, gender bias, marriage equality, jury bias, anti-Semitism, immigration law, minority and mentally ill youth justice, asylum, domestic violence, human trafficking, and more. In addition to their scholarly efforts, faculty members provide service in areas such as juvenile justice, race and immigration, student disability, diversity in the legal profession, prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault, and more.
- Chapman’s immediate past dean and current professor Tom Campbell will be honored in April 2015 with the Marcus M. Kaufman Jurisprudence Award by the Orange County /Long Beach Anti-Defamation League.
- Chapman hosts an annual leadership conference at which student organizations are encouraged to share their culture, traditions, faith, and ideas with the broader law school community.
- Chapman’s student Public Interest Law Foundation has raised significant funds through its annual fundraising program to support students taking public interest summer positions.
- Chapman recruits at a number of diversity recruitment events including Historically Black Colleges & Universities Pre-Law Summit & Law Expo, Latino Justice Law Day and Law Fair, Wisconsin Statewide Pre-Law Diversity Day and Law Fair, and National Society of Black Engineers National Graduate School Fair.
- Chapman annually hosts a Diversity Day event, which provides outreach to middle and high schools within the Santa Ana Unified School District.
- Chapman is a member of the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in Law and the Council on Legal Education Opportunity.
- Chapman is home to a number of clinics that provide free client services, including the Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic, the Alona Cortese Elder Law Center, the Juvenile Mediation Clinic, and the Low Income Taxpayers Clinic.
- Chapman’s Assistant Dean of Admissions and Diversity Initiatives is co-chair of the Law School Diversity Professionals annual meeting , a member of the Law School Admission Council’s Diversity Committee and the Diversity Pipeline Conference Subcommittee, and has served as the vice chair of the Minorities in the Profession Committee for the American Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division. In addition, all of our senior admission administrators are members of the Law School Admission Council’s Minority Network Group.
- Chapman’s Admission Office has created a pipeline program that assists students from underrepresented populations to prepare to come to law school.
- Chapman’s Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Administration promotes inclusiveness by, among other things, officiating at weddings of former students of different faiths and sexual orientation (which was reported in the National Law Journal and National Jurist).
- Members of our Career Services Office team are members of the Orange County Bar Association Diversity Task Force, National Association of Law Placement Section on Diversity and Inclusion, Orange County Lavender Bar Association, Orange County Asian American Bar Association, and a number of other organizations committed to diversity and inclusiveness.
- Chapman law students have traveled to Uganda to participate in the production of a documentary film about persecuted gay rights activists who face imprisonment and the death penalty for homosexuality.
- Chapman recently sponsored selected students to attend the ABA Judicial Clerkship Program, which assists diverse students in obtaining judicial clerkships. The law school also sponsors students to attend national conferences, including Equal Justice Works and Lavender Law.