Pride Flag on white background - decorative

LGBTQ+ at St. John’s Law

As a community that embraces, prioritizes, and reflects the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism, St. John’s Law works continuously to be a safe and welcoming home for LGBTQ+ students, faculty, administrators, staff, and guests.

This page curates and shares resources available to the LGBTQ+ community and allies here at St. John’s Law, across the St. John’s University campus, locally in New York, and nationally in the United States.

St. John’s Law Resources

Assistant Dean Vernadette Horne

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Vernadette Horne collaborates with students and across Law School departments on programs and initiatives designed to:

  • Create a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Raise awareness of issues impacting people who identify as LGBTQ+
  • Spotlight and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ lawyers and law students
  • Expand the Law School’s reach into, and impact on, the LGBTQ+ legal community

Along with Dean Michael A. Simons and others on the Law School’s leadership team, Dean Horne hosts a welcome/welcome back brunch for LGBTQ+ students and allies in the fall. She also facilitates the Dean’s Advisory Council, a group of student representatives that meets regularly to discuss, support, and grow diversity and inclusion at St. John’s Law.

OUTLaws & Allies

OUTLaws & Allies is a student-run group that aims to:

  • Foster awareness of, and advocacy for, legal issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community
  • Eliminate stigmas associated with the LGBTQ+ community in the legal profession
  • Promote a spirit of inclusivity and support at St. John’s Law

Tapping into the Law School’s LGBTQ+ alumni/ally network, and New York City’s vibrant LGBTQ+ culture, OUTLaws & Allies hosts events and programs throughout the year. Recent events include:

  • Welcome Brunch: At the OUTLaws annual welcome brunch, law students in the St. John's LGBTQ+ community meet, mingle, and start the year off knowing they belong. With the support of our deans and faculty, this is a perfect way to begin the year. 
  • Broadway Night: Students gather to take an entertainment break from studying and enjoy a Broadway musical.
  • Pie-A-Professor: To raise money for Safe Horizons, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, St. John’s Law professors volunteer to get pied! Students cover their favorite professors’ faces with whipped cream for an incredible cause. 
  • Comedy Night: OUTLaws hosted the Comedy Night with former lawyer and queer comedian Liz Glazer. 
  • Drag Brunch: OUTLaws Drag Brunch is an annual event featuring a different well-known NYC drag performer each year. The audience enjoys music, comedy, and fun that only a mid-morning drag show can offer. 
  • Law Revue: OUTLaws has hosted two spring Law Revue musicals. The first, performed in 2023, was titled Legally Lost: A Musical Law Revue. The second, performed in the spring of 2024, was titled Legally Found: the Law Revue Sequel. Both were written by Matthew Oster ‘24.

OUTLaws members also attend the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association's Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair and LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL) events. And they celebrate their achievements, and the wider LGBTQ+ community, at the Law School’s annual Diversity & Inclusion Gala.

You’ll find St. John’s Law OUTLaws & Allies on Instagram at sju_outlaws.


As dedicated educators and impactful scholars, the Law School faculty brings diverse perspectives to the work of educating the next generation of St. John’s lawyers. In building the faculty, the Law School strives to recruit promising candidates from underrepresented groups in the legal academy, legal profession, and wider community, including LGBTQ+ faculty. Among other full-time and adjunct faculty members identifying as LGBTQ+ are:

St. John's Law Pride

Coming together in celebration and solidarity, the St. John’s Law community marks Pride Month annually. Here's a sampling of celebratory social media posts featuring students, alumni, and faculty:


adrian alverez

Adrian Alvarez, Professor

“Pride Month is a time to celebrate the family that my husband, Richard, and I have created. For me it is important to raise and amplify LGBTQ+ voices because I want my daughters, Juliet and Ruth, to live in a world where non-normative families like ours are respected and validated.”


Ryan Bravata ‘20

“St. Irenaeus once said, ‘The glory of God is man fully alive[.]’ While the modern notion of Pride was not at the forefront of his mind when he wrote these words, the concepts of authenticity, freedom, justice, liberation, and love were certainly concepts that he understood. Pride means living authentically. Being able to walk down the streets and boldly declare that above all else, who I am, how I love is beautiful; and, thanks to our many queer and trans forbearers, such as Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, and Edith Windsor, we now have the privilege of living Pride ‘fully alive.’”


Alexander Gonzalez ’24

“While our society is becoming more accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals, some sects still seek out ways to silence our voices. That is why it is so important for society to amplify the voices of our community. Beyond just breaking harmful stereotypes, amplifying queer voices saves lives. We must make space for LGBTQ+ discussions to ensure that young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people have the resources to discover themselves and be proud of who they are. Happy Pride!”

Gabrielle Hilton

Gabrielle Hilton ’24

“It is vital that LGBTQIA voices are still heard today as there is still legislation and ideologies that still attempt to silence us. It is essential that we continue to vocalize our fundamental right to be treated as human beings, so that future generations won’t have to bear this burden. As a queer black woman, I would not be able to have pride in my identity without the people before me fighting for the right to be heard, understood, and accepted. I am forever grateful for them for paving the way and forever inspired by their courage, bravery, resilience, and strength.”

Josh LaPorte

Josh LaPorte, Reference & Access Services Librarian, Rittenberg Law Library

“I spent a lot of my life feeling a sense of shame about my queerness. Today, I embrace it. You don’t need to check your authentic self to be a professional. Pride reminds me to be true to myself, and to lift up our community.”

kate long headshot

Kate Long ’23

“With the recent increase in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, it is so important to amplify queer voices to show that we are here, we are not going anywhere, and we are real human beings who deserve rights. Amplifying LGBTQ+ voices is important to show that there is no one way to be a part of the community, we are all different with our own unique backgrounds and experiences! Having LGBTQ+ representation also helps people within the community, especially LGBTQ+ youth, feel seen, heard, and safe.”


St. John’s Law offers the following courses covering LGBTQ+ issues and topics:

  • Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Law (Professor Noa Ben Asher Spring 2024)
  • Issues of Race & Gender in Business Law (Professor Cheryl Wade)

Career Development

Mentor Connect, the Law School's online mentoring program, brings students seeking career guidance together with alumni who are excited to give it. LGBTQ+ and ally mentors are available to share their insights and expertise. St. John’s Law alumni interested in serving as mentors can contact Helena Quinn at [email protected] to get started.


The Law School’s Student Services team is dedicated to helping students succeed and thrive at St. John’s Law and in the profession. They lead a range of wellness initiatives focused on creating a Law School culture that celebrates difference and strengthens common bonds.


The Law School adheres to St. John’s Chosen Name Policy. Other policies that help to create and sustain a diverse community of inclusion and belonging are St. John’s:

St. John’s Law also provides diversity and inclusion training that incorporates a robust LGBTQ+ curriculum. The training is mandatory for all students. In addition, students, faculty, administrators, and staff can participate in Safe Zone Workshops and Trainings offered on campus.

Each year, St. John’s Law participates in the Law School Campus Climate Survey sponsored by the National LGBT Bar Association. Designed to identify policies and procedures that specifically impact the schools’ LGBTQ+ population, the survey asks participating schools to identify only their law school’s policies and data, and not those of any broader University structure associated with that law school.


At St. John’s Law, there are multiple single occupancy, lockable restrooms on the 4th floor. There are also gender neutral restrooms in various locations across campus.

St. John’s University Resources

LGBTQ+ Center

The LGBTQ+ Center is a University-wide resource and research hub for students, faculty, and employees. Its purpose is to organize, coordinate, and innovate LGBTQIA+ issues in the St. John’s University ecosystem to create and sustain an open and welcoming environment for LGBTQIA+ students, faculty, and employees. 


As St. John’s student-run LGBTQ+ organization, Spectrum strives to strengthen, foster, and affirm an inclusive, welcoming academic and campus environment for all students regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression for the purpose of upholding our University’s Catholic, Vincentian, and Metropolitan mission.

LGBTQ+ Resources for Employees

The University also offers a suite of resources for Law School and other St. John’s employees.

New York and National Resources

New York Resources

LGBT Bar Association and Foundation of Greater New York (LeGAL)
LeGaL is dedicated to improving the administration of the law, ensuring full equality for members of the LGBT community, promoting the expertise and advancement of LGBT legal professionals, and serving the larger community.

New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)
NYLAG’s lawyers have strong partnerships with the LGBTQ and social services communities and offer legal services ranging from applications for asylum to name changes and estate planning services.

Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP)
SLRP provides direct representation for low-income transgender people and transgender people of color in three main areas: the Survival and Self-Determination Project, Immigrant Justice Project, and Prisoner Justice Project.

National Resources

Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

National LGBTQ Task Force
The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice, and equality for LGBTQ people.

The National LGBTQ+ Bar Association
The National LGBTQ+ Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender legal organizations. The LGBTQ+ Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBTQ+ community in all its diversity.

Transgender Law Center (TLC)
TLC is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their future