ASU’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Changed My Life

Hi, I’m Andrea, and I adore ASU so much that I’m now working as a research fellow at the law library. But I started law school feeling a little vulnerable. As a transgender woman, I found strong support groups with other trans* and LGBTQIA+ people to help me navigate daily life, but I knew I would be undertaking two great challenges simultaneously, and Civil Procedure was hardly the most daunting.

I faced many obstacles to being who I am today: my true self, complete with a JD! The light rail and my daily running routes were not always safe spaces. But Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and its law library absolutely helped me grow with strong support. I was just another woman learning the law and how to help people. The consistent respect and affirmation I found at ASU helped me achieve a sense of dignity and personal autonomy in a way I never thought would be possible.

Beth DeFelice, for whom I worked as a research assistant after my 1L year, is committed to providing a safe space to help all students thrive at the law library. We can help anyone with study or research needs or concerns. And with four reference librarians holding JDs in our private offices behind the circulation desk on the third floor, we can help get any research or advocacy project off the ground. Please set up a time to Meet with a Librarian or ask any questions at the reference desk during business hours or by phone or email. You can also reach out to ASU Law’s many student organizations to find support from fellow students and faculty members.

I hope you’ll join me at the Diverse Students Coalition lunch discussion Monday, September 23 at 12:15 PM in Room 240. The panel will provide tips for all law students on thriving at ASU. Feel free to drop by my office at Room 350E anytime, or email me at

Andrea Gass, Law Library Research Fellow