Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to our role as a leading public law school in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Some of our specific goals include creating an inclusive and supportive law school community; engaging in critical discourse about legal and social issues within the law which are often avoided or suppressed; developing professional identity; and enhancing cultural sensibility to equip students with the tools necessary to effectively practice in an increasingly diverse world. We accomplish these goals by bringing together members of the law school community with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to consider meaningful issues. Our collaborative approach is designed to appeal to students, faculty, staff and alumni through a variety of platforms.
UCLA School of Law Academic Outreach Resource
The Academic Outreach Resource Center is committed to ensuring equity, access and excellence in legal education. To that end, the Academic Outreach Resource Center is dedicated to aggressively and imaginatively engaging in a wide variety of outreach initiatives designed to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to apply and attend law school at UCLA.
The Law Fellows program is designed to encourage and prepare high-potential undergraduate and graduate students for a career in law, increase the diversity of the law school pool, and demystify the law school experience.
Building bridges across various lines begins with open dialogue and increased understanding about our respective experiences, backgrounds and biases. At UCLA Law, we strive to create multiple platforms for students, faculty and staff to engage in conversation about a myriad of issues. Additionally, we look to translate those conversations into strategies and programs.
Campus Climate Dialogues and Brainstorming Circles
The Office for Student Affairs and the faculty-student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee facilitate dialogues and brainstorming sessions relating to campus climate (classroom dynamics, co-curricular programming, social interaction, issues relating to the main campus) and potential curricular and co-curricular opportunities for supporting diversity and students from diverse backgrounds.
Student-Faculty Dinner Dialogues
Dean Mnookin hosts periodic dinner dialogues at her home to bring together students and faculty for critical conversations in an informal space. Discussion themes have included: Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA Law; Inclusive Teaching Practices and Student Resilience; and Balancing Act: How Wellness and Balance in Law School can Lead to Academic Success and Impact Campus Climate.
Real Talk/Real Film Series
The Real Talk and Real Film series offer alternative platforms for students to explore and engage issues within the law which are often avoided. Discussion topics have included difficult conversations in the classroom, mental illness and police violence. Real Film has featured screenings and discussions of Fruitvale Station; Dear White People (winner of the 2014 U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival); and Agents of Change (an award-winning documentary that connects transformative campus protests of the 1960s to current student-led movements).
Workshops and Trainings
LEAD Teaching Workshops - LEAD sponsors two first-year teaching workshops each year, combining teachers of a particular subject in the first-year curriculum with a small group of students to examine the climate in the classroom as it relates to particular subjects and cases. The discussions are student-led.
Cultural Exchange and Celebration
Real Music Series
This series features live music performances by student musicians from across campus to promote diversity, inclusion and wellness over a communal meal in the Shapiro Courtyard. The Office for Student Affairs has co-presented Real Music events with the Black Law Students Association, La Raza Law Students Association, Native American Law Students Association and South Asian Law Students Association, featuring the music, dance, food and history of the groups represented.
Alumni Engagement and Student Connections
UCLA Women LEAD
Based on the pillars of Leadership, Empowerment, Advancement and Distinction, UCLA Law Women LEAD provides a lifelong partnership with women in the legal profession. The initiative addresses the distinct challenges facing our alumnae throughout their careers and will create an intergenerational support network to assist and partner with women from first-year law students to professionals at the most senior levels.
Orientation Activities for Incoming First-Year Students
Community Read Forum
Incoming first-year students are encouraged to read one of several designated books which reflect underrepresented voices and experiences within the law. During orientation, students participate in group book discussions facilitated by upper-division students, faculty and alumni. Past selections include: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness; Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas; My Beloved World; Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind; and The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness.
Implicit Bias Workshop
Students participate in a mandatory facilitated workshop on implicit bias and learn its implications for how we interact with people from different backgrounds. Students are encouraged to take the Implicit Association Tests administered by Harvard’s Project Implicit, which assess an individual’s biases with respect to various social groups.
“Think About It” Sexual Violence Prevention Training
Students are equipped with information and bystander training on how to create a community of support and prevent and respond to sexual violence and/or harassment.