Vic Wiener is a nontraditional TU Law student who decided to return to school to earn a law degree after working as a youth advocate for five years. “As the LGBTQ program manager at Youth Services of Tulsa, I realized that I didn’t have the access, knowledge or resources to help my clients. I decided to attend law school so that I could gain that knowledge and develop programs that make it a safer world for everyone,” Wiener said.
After a successful first-year at The University of Tulsa College of Law, Wiener is clerking for the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) in Washington, D.C. “I discovered the opportunity for the summer position with NCYL through TU Law’s professional development office who helped me prepare my application and the materials necessary to earn the clerkship in D.C.,” said Wiener.
The NCYL is a nonprofit law firm that helps low-income children achieve their potential by transforming the public agencies that serve them. The organization’s goal is to transform the multiple public systems serving vulnerable children including education, welfare, public health, behavioral health, juvenile justice and workforce development. As a legal clerk, Wiener will support the lawyers who are working on impact litigation.
When considering which law school to attend, Wiener was worried about coming into an environment where the faculty, staff and students were not prepared to support a transgender student. “When I was applying to schools, I saw that some were using the correct pronouns in their communications and some weren’t. When I brought this to the attention of the admissions team at TU Law, they jumped into action changing materials with gender neutral pronouns, adjusting the dress code to be inclusive, provided safe bathrooms and trained the staff on how to address transgender students,” Wiener said. “It was an incredible experience to see a college go out of its way to support one student and make me feel as supported as possible.”
Wiener selected TU Law for a number of reasons including the incredible support provided by faculty and staff. “I hadn’t expected it because you hear about the competitiveness of law school, but even the most intimidating professors are the kindest and warmest people who truly want their students to succeed and will do anything to make that happen.”
Wiener’s first year in law school has been successful: earned a CALI Award for Contracts, served as the 1L (first-year) delegate for immLAW (TU’s immigration law student society) and OutLaws (TU’s LGBTQ law student society.)
Within the community, Wiener is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the non-binary transgender support group that meets at Oklahomans for Equality; steering committee member of Compassion Tulsa, 2015-17; Camp Anytown advisor for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, 2014-17; member of the community advisory group for the Tulsa Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2016-17; and a board member and singer for the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus.
Wiener earned a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina.
*They, their and them are the pronouns Wiener uses.