CUNY OUTLaws Petition
Dear Curriculum and Appointments Committees,
This petition is submitted on behalf of the signatories below to make recommendations regarding CUNY School of Law’s curriculum, legal clinics, fourth semester lawyering seminar, and prospective faculty hires.
CUNY prides itself on being an inclusive school with an eclectic student body. This diverse body of students, however, feels that our needs and academic interests are not being met by the conspicuous lack of LGBTQ legal classes. Further, CUNY is remiss in its duty to social justice by ignoring an opportunity to serve a long disenfranchised community.
Accordingly, while engaging in the search for new faculty and considering the creation of new clinics, seminars, concentrations, we ask the committees to work closely with the student body in order to establish LGBTQ courses. Specifically, we urge the curriculum committee to adopt the following recommendations:
* Establish an LGBTQ Clinic or Concentration in order to meet the large demands of the student body and to train a new generation of lawyers who can provide social justice services to a historically disenfranchised community.
* Establish an LGBTQ centered fourth semester lawyering seminar in order to educate students with the judicial tools necessary for advocacy on behalf of the queer community.
*Actively recruit doctrinal hires that can establish and teach classes covering the specialized topic of LGBTQ Law. We also urge that the committees bear in mind CUNY’s unique history of social and economic justice activism while searching for prospective hires.
*Finally, we urge that the committees put serious consideration behind Ms. Pooja Gehi’s clinic and fourth semester lawyering seminar proposal. Ms. Gehi is the Director of Litigation and Advocacy at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, has rich experience in the field of queer law, and extensive ties with the numerous LGBTQ organizations around New York City. Her experience, combined with her comprehensive outlook on legal issues facing the queer community makes her an excellent candidate. Ms. Gehi would be an invaluable addition to the CUNY faculty.
OUTLaws would welcome the opportunity to serve as a resource for the committees as they conduct the search for new faculty and establish new courses in the curriculum. We are confident that all the committees will pay close attention to the particular needs of CUNY students and the LGBTQ community. We urge you to listen to the voices of the community and take this opportunity to truly live up to CUNY’s maxim, “Law in the Service of Human Needs.”