The “campus staple” spreads awareness and creates a space for LGBTQ+ students at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
The past decade has been eventful for the LGBTQ+ community, which has had many victories, including in the courtroom. While LGBTQ+ rights are still debated in many states, the next generation of lawyers may be more diverse than ever.
The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has its own LGBTQ+ student organization. Called OUTlaw, the group brings awareness to issues affecting LGBTQ+ people in the legal and political spheres.
“OUTlaw at CM Law has been a campus staple for quite some time,” shared OUTlaw President Katheryn Hach. “Undeniably, there’s a space for LGBTQ+ folks in legal spaces, especially given that oftentimes fundamental rights are at stake.”
Beyond creating awareness, OUTlaw creates a community for law students who may face certain obstacles in class.
“LGBTQ+ law students have a particular need for community as they learn about landmark rights cases, for example, the 2015 “gay marriage case” Obergefell v. Hodges, and are put in a position where they are forced to listen to more conservative classmates play the devil’s advocate about a closely held aspect of one’s self – who they love and how that love is expressed,” said Hach.
“My goal as President of OUTlaw is to maintain that community and keep students and faculty thinking about the law through an LGBTQ+ lens. We can do that by advocating loudly for the most marginalized sects of our community and explore the intersectionalities at their roots, regardless of what type of law our members choose to focus on in the future. At our meetings, we chat about legal cases, recognize visibility and other awareness days, and discuss pertinent ancillary issues to the community.”
By joining OUTlaw, or another LGBTQ+ organization on campus, such as the Queer Student Alliance or LGBTQ+ Student Services, students can find a group of peers who may have faced similar struggles. These spaces are safe environments to discuss these struggles and solutions and are very important to the LGBTQ+ presence and experience on our campus.
Hach herself expressed her willingness to support students personally, adding “my email is always open to any student wishing to discuss LGBTQ+ legal issues, or law school in general, so feel free to reach out!”