Statement from Yale Law School on Nondiscrimination

On April 4, 2019, Senator Ted Cruz sent a letter to the Dean of Yale Law School asserting that the Law School engages in religious discrimination. He bases this claim on a Law School announcement that it will not financially support employment positions unless they are open to all of our student body.

Equality is foundational to our profession and the education of our students. Yale Law School does not discriminate on the basis of religion, nor on the basis of race, gender, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We extend that protection to the career services and financial support we provide our students and their prospective employers. For decades, Yale Law School has required employers who recruit at the Law School to certify that the positions they offer are open to all of our students.

Our students can and do work for any organization they choose. And the Law School enthusiastically supports the efforts of Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, liberal, and conservative groups to hire our students. We are very proud of the extraordinary range of career paths our students pursue, and we are proud that people of all faiths are part of this community.

Yale Law School must answer our profession’s call to protect students and lawyers from discrimination. The American Bar Association requires all law schools, as a condition of their accreditation, to adopt a nondiscrimination policy for employers who benefit from the career-services support provided by law schools. The ABA has long defended students and lawyers against discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The National Association for Law Placement’s model policy makes clear that lawyers and employers should not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Law schools throughout the country have nondiscrimination policies similar to Yale’s.

We recently decided that the Law School will require that any employment position it financially supports be open to all of our students. If an employer refuses to hire students because they are Christian, black, veterans, or gay, we will not fund that position.

We are in the process of putting this policy in place. It will solely concern hiring practices. It will not inquire about political goals, litigation strategies, or policy objectives of the organization. It will also include an accommodation for religious organizations and a ministerial exception, consistent with antidiscrimination principles.  

We cherish and value all of our students no matter whom they love, where they worship, or how they vote. That’s why we cannot, consistent with our nondiscrimination policy, subsidize employers who discriminate among them.