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Policies, Resources, and Reporting
The Law School is committed to providing all members of our community an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential as students by fostering a learning environment in which each individual is treated with dignity and respect. Consistent with that goal, and with the recommendations of the Working Group, this page outlines the standards that govern our community and the processes available for raising concerns or bringing complaints regarding discrimination, harassment, or other forms of misconduct by members of the Law School community.
In addition to the specific procedures and bodies listed below and in the links throughout this page, those who believe that a faculty member has violated the Standards of Faculty Conduct can seek an informal resolution of the matter through the faculty member’s Dean. More information is below.
For other school and university policies, please visit the Additional Policies page.
The Law School’s Rights and Duties govern student conduct, while faculty are subject to the Faculty Standards of Conduct. Federal and state bodies of law, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Connecticut anti-discrimination law, also apply. Some of the procedures to raise complaints are internal to the Law School while others operate at the University level. They also vary in their formality. The available procedures are intended to provide students with multiple options for raising a complaint. For this reason, designated individuals, both inside and outside the Law School, are available to provide you with additional guidance beyond the information provided here. They are also available to answer questions, provide guidance, or respond to concerns even if you do not wish to make a complaint. Those resources are indicated below.
Sexual misconduct encompasses a broad range of behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person. Sexual misconduct is antithetical to the standards and ideals of our community, and it is a violation of Yale University policy and the disciplinary regulations of the Law School.
Questions, complaints or concerns regarding sexual misconduct involving any member of the Yale community may be directed to the Law School’s Title IX Coordinator, Dean Ellen Cosgrove, or any other University Title IX Coordinator; the University’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education (SHARE) Center; the Yale Police Department; or the New Haven Police Department.
Title IX Coordinators
The Law School’s Title IX Coordinator may be best situated to address your questions, concerns, or complaints. If you prefer, you may instead contact a Title IX Coordinator outside of the Law School. Title IX Coordinators can answer questions about sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, explain available complaint procedures, direct you to counseling and other resources, and facilitate contact with the Yale Police Department or New Haven Police Department. Title IX Coordinators can also arrange accommodations, remedies, and protective measures to ensure individual and community safety.
Title IX Coordinators will not share identifying information with anyone without your permission, except in the rare event of an immediate or ongoing threat to your safety or community safety. In cases of sexual assault or other criminal conduct, Title IX Coordinators will share non-identifying details about the incident with the Yale Police Department for statistical purposes (as required by the federal Clery Act), and will advise you about the resources and assistance that the police can provide.
The SHARE Center
SHARE, the University’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education Center, provides counseling and assistance to any member of the Yale community with questions or concerns about sexual misconduct. This includes support for individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct recently or in the past, or whose friends, family, or loved ones have experienced sexual misconduct. SHARE’s services are confidential and can be kept anonymous if you desire, except in the rare event of an immediate or ongoing threat to your safety or community safety.
Formal Complaints: The University-Wide Committee (UWC)
In some instances, a Title IX Coordinator may be able to help a student resolve a complaint of sexual misconduct through an informal process. However, if a student wishes to bring a formal complaint, such a complaint is handled entirely by Yale’s University-Wide Committee (“UWC”), a disciplinary board internal to the University but outside of the Law School. A complaint made to the UWC entails a formal investigation, hearing, findings of fact, and, where appropriate, discipline. UWC staff are available to answer questions about the Committee’s procedures and about the University’s sexual misconduct policy.
You may ask that a complaint be pursued without revealing your name or other identifying details. Your request will be accommodated to the extent possible, but an anonymous complaint on its own cannot be the basis for disciplinary action.
When a confidentiality request limits an investigation or prevents the University from taking direct disciplinary action, the University will take other reasonable steps to minimize the effects of the reported misconduct and to prevent its recurrence.
Additional Resources Regarding Sexual Misconduct
For a more comprehensive discussion of the University’s policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct, please see Preventing and Responding to Sexual Misconduct: Building a Climate of Safety and Respect at Yale. Additional resources are available on the University’s Sexual Misconduct Response & Prevention website.
Other Forms of Discrimination or Harassment
Questions, concerns, or complaints regarding equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and discrimination and harassment other than sexual misconduct can be directed to Dean Ellen Cosgrove in her capacity as Dean’s Designee for Yale Law School, or to Valarie Stanley, Director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Access. These matters include, but are not limited to, discrimination based upon age, color, handicap or disability, ethnic or national origin, race, religion, religious creed, gender, marital, parental or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Deans’ Designees can offer advice and guidance and also help to facilitate informal resolution of student complaints where it is appropriate to do so. In addition to the Deans’ Designees within the Law School, any University Title IX Coordinator is available to hear concerns about sex or gender discrimination. The Office of Institutional Equity and Access is available to assist with resolution of, and investigate, complaints of discrimination that are not informally resolved.
If an informal resolution of a complaint regarding student conduct is not achieved, any member of the Law School community may make a formal complaint of a violation of the Law School’s Rights and Duties. Such a complaint should be provided in writing to Dean Cosgrove. The procedures for such complaints are set out in Section III of the Rights and Duties.
Those who believe that a faculty member has violated the Faculty Standards of Conduct are encouraged to raise the matter with Dean Cosgrove, with the Office of Institutional Equity and Access, or with the Dean of the Law School. In most cases, the dean may resolve complaints of faculty misconduct. If an alleged violation of the Faculty Standards of Conduct has not been resolved informally, or if the Dean was significantly involved in the matter under dispute, a member of the Law School community may ask the Provost to submit a complaint for formal review by the Faculty Standards Review Committee under the procedures described in Section III.N of the University’s Faculty Handbook.
Finally, please contact Dean Cosgrove or Deputy Dean Ian Ayres to report a school-related complaint of any kind. These individuals are equipped to help students resolve issues or to provide referrals as appropriate.
Our success as an intellectual community depends upon all of our members acting with mutual respect. The standards and procedures outlined here are intended to help us achieve that goal, but the attention and commitment of each member of the community is required if we are to attain that objective.