The School of Law’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion works with students, faculty, administrators, and staff to promote diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency throughout all levels of the School of Law.
Through programming and support, we work strategically to develop relationships with students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to continue to cultivate and maintain a diverse and inclusive law school environment.
To support our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, please consider making a gift to our Social Justice and Racial Equity Fund.
The University at Buffalo School of Law is committed to providing an environment where students, staff, and faculty from underrepresented minority groups excel personally, academically, and professionally. The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion seeks to continue to collaborate with the various School of Law Departments and community partners to provide a comprehensive approach to executing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives. Through program development, strategic planning, and community outreach, the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strives to continue to create an academic community comprised of a diverse group of professionals whose differences are valued as a source of strength in our law school community.
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA)
The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association mission is to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community, provide support for law school students, and create a social and professional network to connect students and alumni. Our goal is to promote a greater understanding of APA issues and culture, as well as to provide opportunities for law students to engage with the APA and minority community at large.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
The Black Law Students Association
(BLSA) is a professional, nationally affiliated organization of black law students dedicated to improving opportunities and diversity in legal education. As the School of Law's BLSA chapter, our goal is to articulate and promote the educational, professional, political and social needs of our black law students while also giving back to our communities. BLSA seeks to provide programming in partnership with local law firms and community organizations to provide our members with a well-rounded legal education that goes beyond the classroom. The networks established through our programming allows our members to broaden their perspectives while also demonstrating service, a core principle of BLSA.
Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA)
The Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) is committed to increasing diversity and representation in the legal profession. Membership is open to law students of all backgrounds. LALSA is dedicated to the academic and social well-being of its membership. Efforts towards this goal include fostering and maintaining a supportive school environment our members, sharing the Latin culture with partnering with the local legal and Latin community, and hosting various events and opportunities for the academic and social enrichment of our membership.
OUTLaw is a student organization that promotes a positive atmosphere at the law school for LGBTQIA+ students and their allies. Every year, we plan and host events on issues relevant to the LGBTQ+ community. Our many events have included symposia on family law and the tax needs of LGBTQ+ clients; implications of recent Supreme Court decisions; Transgender awareness events; and events surrounding the intersection of sexuality, race, class, and gender. Our largest event is the annual OUTLaw Dinner, which is hosted every Spring. At this dinner, we honor Western New York community members who have made significant and positive impacts on the region’s LGBTQ+ population. Past honorees include State Assemblyperson Sean Ryan, activist Madeline Davis, retired Hodgson-Russ partner Bill Gardner, the Center for Elder Law & Justice, and local High School Student-Activist Byshop Elliot.
OUTLaw is a very active organization and has successfully made several positive changes at the law school. We successfully lobbied to provide gender-neutral bathrooms on several floors of our building and to give applicants to the law school the opportunity to self-identify as LGBTQ+. In addition to self-identification, we actively encourage students to provide us with their preferred name and pronouns as an added step towards making UB Law a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
Strong support from faculty and administration is one of the reason why OUTLaw is so successful. Our organization works closely with faculty advisors Professor Michael Boucai and Vice-Dean for Career Services Lisa Patterson. Professor Boucai’s scholarship focuses on sexual regulation and LGBTQ+ rights, and is a great resource for all students at the law school. Dean Patterson is a fierce ally for students and a wonderful resource for LGBTQ+ law students on the hunt for jobs and a potential career.