Unique Perspectives. Common Ground.
One of the strengths of American society is our diversity. At Western New England University School of Law, we have a long and proud history of collegiality and inclusiveness, which embraces the notion that different beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions are critical components of a well-rounded learning environment. Today, the School of Law sponsors many diversity programs and services, from curriculum to experiential learning opportunities to networking events, designed to help you succeed.
Our 2020 Entering Class
17% members of the LGBTQIA+ community
29% students of color
41% of the students self-identify as first generation college graduates
62% female students
The Programs You Want
A cornerstone of our mission is the belief that the study of law must incorporate a broad perspective and recognize the need to interact sensitively and effectively with a diversity of people. Accordingly, Western New England University School of Law offers a wide range of elective courses and experiential learning opportunities to help you increase your knowledge base on diversity legal issues.
Effective for the incoming class of 2022, all students will be required to satisfactorily complete at least one Anti-Racism and Cultural Competency (ARCC) course. Courses satisfying this requirement have been designated by the curriculum committee as including substantive content relating to the legal history, structural inequality, discrimination, impact, cultural context, and/or cultural competency surrounding racism. The current ARCC course menu options available to students are as follows:
- Critical Race Theory
- Race, Racism & the Law
- Business Law from an Antiracist Perspective
- Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession
- Law and Social Change
- Advanced Criminal Law
- Civil Rights: Police Misconduct
- Gender & Law
- Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Law
- Employment Law in Capitalist America
- Labor Law in Capitalist America
- International Human Rights
- Employment Discrimination
- Immigration Policy
- Climate and Environmental Justice Seminar
- Cannabis Law
- International Criminal Law
- Federal Criminal Law
In addition to the above mentioned elective courses, Western New England offers the following experiential learning programs:
Outside of the classroom, Western New England offers numerous student organizations designed for social and professional development. These organizations offer opportunities to network with classmates, students from other law schools, and alumni practitioners.
Hear from the Professionals
Western New England has a vibrant speaker roster which includes many lectures on important diversity issues ranging from such topics as "Profiling, Race and Masculinity: Florida, Massachusetts and Beyond" to "Gender and the Military."
• Color of Law Roundtable—Since 2007, attorneys of color have visited Western New England to share their educational, career, and personal experiences to help current students find their own paths.
• Clason Speaker Series—For more than 25 years, the top minds in the nation have visited the School of Law to present works in progress on current legal topics.
• The Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship hosts numerous events throughout the year that assist growing local businesses, many of which are minority owned.
• The Center for Social Justice hosts many events that bring together members of the community for engaging conversations on diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
From applying to law school to landing your first job, the School of Law sponsors numerous events where you can meet and network with professionals and other law students. Many of our successful alumni generously volunteer their time mentor students and provide insight into how to prosper in the working world. A sampling of our annual events are listed below.
- Dinner for Students and Alumni of Color—A highlight of the School’s fall social calendar, this annual event allows students to network with each other and many of our distinguished alumni.
- Diversity Law Day Workshop—This annual event features representatives from regional law schools. Workshop sessions address minority and diversity issues related to law school and the application process. The goal of this program is to be a step toward bridging the law school gap that currently exists for minority and diversity law students in the New England region.
Financing Your Legal Education
Western New England offers generous scholarships and financial aid. Over the past three years, an average of 75% of law students received scholarships and 90% received some form of financial aid, including scholarship opportunities specially designed for diversity students. Visit our Cost and Aid section to learn more.
For more information regarding diversity in law school, please check out the Law School Admissions Council's website.