Action Items and Updates

Many of the action items listed below originated from the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Working Group’s recommendations in spring 2020, as well as feedback from students during the summer of 2020 and the 2020-21 academic year. We continue to explore and identify additional items to demonstrate our commitment to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive College of Law community.

Strategy Development

Strategy Development Action Items and Status
Action Item Progress/Status

Develop a law school Diversity & Inclusion Plan that lays out short-term and long-term principles and goals for achieving a more diverse, equitable and inclusive law school.


The Diversity Committee is charged with recommending policy, practices and/or programmatic changes that will, in the judgment of the Committee, foster an equitable and inclusive environment that (1) supports the success and inclusion of faculty, staff, and students from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups; (2) promotes the College’s commitment to developing intercultural understanding among all community members; (3) promotes the College’s commitment to equitable access to the profession. The Diversity Committee will issue its report with recommendations by June 30, 2021.

Administer a climate survey to collect data on law student experiences and set a baseline for growth and development.

College of Law launched the Law School Survey on Student Engagement (LSSSE) in spring 2021 and added a module of questions designed to collect data on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Data will be available to the College in summer 2021.

The university administered a climate survey in February 2020.  The UC Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact will make the College of Law’s data available in summer 2021. 

Establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee within the UC Law Dean’s Advisory Board.

DEI Committee developed and administered a survey to UC Law alumni to identify the College’s strengths and opportunities for growth in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Survey results will be shared with the College community during the fall 2021 semester.

Events, Training & Programming

Events, Training & Programming Action Items and Status.
Action Item Progress/Status

Invite Black scholars to campus for signature College of Law events. 

The College hosted symposia and invited several Black scholars to campus for signature College of Law events this year:

Justice Leondra R. Kruger, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California and a former Obama administration official, was our Jurist-in-Residence in spring 2021. 

Chicago-Kent Law Professor Bernadette Atuahene was our Marx Lecturer in spring 2021.

The Jones Center, in collaboration with the European Studies Program in the University of Cincinnati’s College of Arts and Sciences Department of German Studies, hosted the inaugural Morelli Colloquy on Belonging and Difference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in spring 2021.

Professor Paul Butler, our Distinguished Visiting Professor, explored the issue of state violence against Black, police brutality and reform prospects in his lecture, “Chokehold:  Policing Black Men in the Post-Trump Era.” 

The Law Review hosted the Symposium on the Legacy of Judge Nathaniel R. Jones with Dennis Parker, CEO of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice; Rutgers Law Professor Elise Boddie; University of North Carolina Professor Erika Wilson; and University of the District of Columbia Dean Renee Hutchins in fall 2020. 

Require DEI training during 1L orientation that includes a robust curriculum on systemic racism, LGBTQ+ civil rights, and other historically marginalized populations and the law.

The Diversity Committee is working with the Orientation Committee to evaluate several models to revise the orientation experience to include robust DEI training in fall 2021 orientation. The Diversity Committee will issue its report with recommendations by June 30, 2021.

Add mandatory workshops, training, and events for students, faculty and staff on topics surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Held most recent LGBTQ+ ally training for College of Law faculty and staff in March 2021.  The College will sponsor at least two additional ally trainings this year, with a goal of 100% faculty and staff participation in by the end of the fall 2021 semester. 

All OIP fellows participated in “Developing Cultural Intelligence (CQ®): A Program for Lawyer Leaders” in fall 2020. 

With the support of a grant from the UC Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact, the College hosted “Managing Unconscious Bias,” a 4-hour workshop for upper-level students in fall 2020.   

Provide resources on website to demonstrate support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Revised College of Law website to include additional resources to demonstrate our support for the LGBTQ+ community in November 2020.

Identify resources to address the mental health needs of LGBTQ+ students.

The College met with the newly hired LGBTQ+ Director, Chad Freeman, and one of the CAPS Counselors, Dr. Shane Gibbons, to discuss the mental health and wellness resources currently available to LGBTQ+ law students and to identify opportunities to partner to provide additional support.

New Bias Reporting System

New Bias Reporting System Action Items and Status
Action Item  Progress/Status

Create a system for reporting incidents of bias that do not rise to the level of harassment of discrimination, but nonetheless are contrary to our values as a community.  

The Bias Related Incident Tool (BRIT) launched in April 2021 so that the faculty and administration are aware of such incidents and can respond accordingly, whether through training, intervention, conversations.


Curriculum Action Items and Status
Action Item Progress/Status

Revise student teaching evaluations to include DEI competency as a component of student course evaluations.

The Faculty voted to add one question to student teaching evaluations to assess professor’s ability to foster an inclusive classroom environment beginning in fall 2021.

Increase course offerings on structural racism.

The College offered two new courses on structural racism this year: (1) Structural Racism and the Law, taught by Dean Verna L. Williams (fall 2020); and (2) “Race, Crime, and the Law,” taught by Distinguished Visiting Professor Paul Butler of Georgetown University (spring 2021).

Implement a diversity requirement for graduation that includes meaningful discussions on system racism and LGBTQ+ civil rights.

The Diversity Committee will submit a proposal to the Ad Hoc Curriculum Committee for a diversity requirement for graduation by the end of the spring 2021 semester.  If the Ad Hoc Curriculum is unable to present an alternative curriculum to the Faculty by the first faculty meeting of the 2021-22 academic year, the Diversity Committee will present its proposal for a diversity requirement to the full faculty.

Student Recruitment

Student Recruitment Action Items and Status
Action Item  Progress/Status

Increase pipeline initiatives and finance LSAT preparation for low-income, Black, or non-black persons of color who are undergraduates at UC or members of the local community hoping to pursue a legal education.

The College submitted a proposal to the university for funding of Project 2045, a two-prong initiative designed to increase racial diversity at the College and, ultimately the legal profession. The university will determine whether to grant funding for the proposal in summer 2021.

College of Law Building

College of Law Building Action Items and Status.
Action Item  Progress/Status

Designate a multicultural space in the College of Law building.

The College will designate Room 307 in the current law building as a multicultural space for students beginning in fall 2021. The College is committed to ensuring there is a designated multicultural space in the new building.

Designate a gender-neutral restroom in a more accessible part of the building.


The College will designate the staff restroom on the second floor as a third gender-neutral restroom in the building. The College is committed to ensuring there are gender-neutral restrooms in accessible areas of the new building.

Address lack of representation in College of Law building artwork.

The College will replace artwork in the lobby and in some classrooms to better reflect the diversity of the College of Law community and the larger community we serve in fall 2021.  Initiatives include:

- Pursuit of an installation of art by exoneree Raymond Towler for the brick wall in the Atrium.

- Law library display on College of Law history, including highlights of various milestones, the College's role in social movements, key events, notable figures, etc., with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.  The library will also display a large plaque in honor of Judge Jones in a prominent location. 

- Student-led display for the first floor including photos and mementos reflecting what students were doing "while we were away" from March 2020 - August 2021.    

- Display of photographs printed on acrylic featuring students and alumni in action.   This may include a display of "firsts," such as Helen Elsie Austin and William Parham, and/or a display of photos of students in action.