Diversity & Inclusion
Our Commitment to You
The University of Illinois College of Law values and is committed to diversity and inclusion. Some of the most important challenges our society faces result from the effects of discrimination.
We believe that the legal profession is more effective and creative when its members come from diverse backgrounds and bring varied perspectives to further the pursuit of justice. Excellence and diversity go hand in hand. Accordingly, we are committed to fostering and maintaining a law school environment that is welcoming to individuals of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions or lack thereof, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, ages, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are committed to challenging and addressing bias and discrimination in all its forms and creating an environment at the College of Law in which every student can excel.
countries represented on campus*
states represented (1L class)
most students of color among top-ranked midwest universities (NCES)*
*These numbers apply to the entire University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, and not specifically to the College of Law.
View our ABA Standard 509 Information Report (Fall 2021) for additional statistics.
Academics and Programming
The College of Law is a participant in Jumpstart, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism law school preparation program. Jumpstart is an educational program that was established to support first year, minority law students who are traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession. The curriculum, which is designed in collaboration with law schools, provides context for success in law school and beyond. Learn more about Jumpstart at 2civility.org.
Our curriculum strives to weave in legal issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our many course offerings. For more information, view a current list of course offerings.
Racial Justice Practicum
To help address racial injustice in the legal profession, the College of Law launched a Racial Justice Practicum in the summer of 2021. The Practicum consists of a classroom component as well as work experience.
Students participate in a one-week virtual class held during the late spring, which focuses specifically on racial justice as it relates to the legal profession. Topics addressed include relevant constitutional legal principles, labor and employment issues, immigration, bankruptcy, health care legislation, criminal justice and its effects on people of color in America.
Summer externship placements with legal aid agencies or non-profit organizations that represent populations affected by racism in Illinois and elsewhere across the nation provide students with experiential opportunities to serve clients wrestling with issues of racial justice.
To defray summer living expenses, students participating in the Practicum receive a stipend of $1,500 per credit hour earned, up to a maximum of $6,000. Each student is expected to provide 60 hours of service per credit hour, up to a maximum of 240 hours during the term of the Practicum.
The College partners with a variety of organizations for student placements, many of which are longtime partners and friends, including the ACLU, Cabrini Green Legal Services, the Equal Justice Initiative, Equip for Equality, Prairie State Legal Services, and more.
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Lecture Series
The family and friends of David C. Baum endowed the David C. Baum Memorial Lecture on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights not only in his memory, but at his request. Deep concern for the dignity and rights of all people was central to Professor Baum’s character and activities. After graduating from Harvard Law, clerking on the Illinois Supreme Court, and a stint in private practice, Baum joined the Illinois Law faculty in 1963. Professor Baum was an inspiration to his students and colleagues, not only because of the excellence of his teaching, scholarship, and public service, but because of his remarkable human qualities. Conscientious and judicious, blending passion for justice with dispassionate objectivity, he inspired the highest level of discourse and endeavor in all who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.
The College of Law hosts at least one David C. Baum Memorial Lecture each year. Recent guest speakers have included Richard Epstein (NYU Law), Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.), Jonathan Rauch (Brookings Institute), Teresa Sullivan (President Emerita, UVA), and Kristen Clarke (President, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law).
Women Lead WITH Illinois Law
The College of Law is committed to the advancement of women in the legal profession. Women Lead WITH Illinois Law aims to gather the members of our community – students, faculty, alumni, and guests – for a variety of programming intended to inspire and empower women to embrace positions of leadership in the law, to create meaningful connections, and to support each other’s personal and professional goals. Learn more about this initiative.
Cultural Student Organizations
The College of Law has over 30 student organizations, for which membership is open to all students. The groups listed below are related to culture and diversity; view a full list of our current student organizations here.
Asian Law Students Association (ALSA)
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
Christian Law Students Association (CLSA)
International Student Association (ISA)
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)
Latinx Law Students Association (LLSA)
Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA)
Myra Bradwell Association for Women Law Students (WLS)
Campus Resources and Programming
The following is a list of campus resources available to ALL University of Illinois students, including those attending the College of Law.
The mission of Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (OVCDEI) is to use the transformational power of our university to lead our campus toward an increasingly diverse and inclusive community that is open, just, and welcoming for all.
Open to all students, our cultural houses help you celebrate your own heritage and give you a better appreciation for other ways of life.
- Asian American Cultural Center
- Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center
- La Casa Cultural Latina
- Native American House
Our resource centers work to foster an environment that’s open, safe, and inclusive for people of all backgrounds and identities, and they offer opportunities for you to network and build support systems on campus.
- Diversity & Social Justice Education
- International Education
- LGBT Resource Center
- Women’s Resources Center