Dear Law Alumni and Friends,
Happy New Year!
I hope you and your family had a peaceful and safe holiday, and I wish you my very best for this new year. Now that we are past the winter solstice, each day is a bit longer and filled with more light. I feel this symbolically as well: despite the increasing challenges of the pandemic, we are hopeful that the recent vaccine developments will bring us all much-needed relief. And in light of the shocking events that occurred in our nation’s capital this week, we must reaffirm the importance of the rule of law in our country and the lawyer’s role in our democracy (see messages from me and Father O’Brien here). Santa Clara Law is committed to educating future lawyers and leaders who will work to support our democracy. While our classes will continue to be online for this semester, we look forward to the day that we can be back together again in person when it is safe to do so.
Before we turn the page on 2020, I must share the news of two tragic losses we had over the holidays: the death of retired Professor Nancy Wright JD ’80 and our former colleague and clinical professor, Ray Bernstein. Learn more about Ray here and about Nancy here.
Santa Clara Law has a longstanding commitment to diversity and to being an anti-racist law school, and I want to share with you some updates on our efforts in these areas. Our faculty, staff, and students will continue to participate in anti-bias training to become more aware of systemic issues that affect us all. Also, our admissions team is working with hundreds of students from all over the country who plan to join our community next fall, and we are grateful to be able to offer many of them scholarships, which are a powerful tool for increasing diversity, attracting and retaining high achieving students, and generally addressing issues of access and affordability. As part of these efforts to attract a more diverse student body, we are recruiting at more historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In addition, we are also in discussion with an HBCU law school to create exchange programs where our students can benefit from each other’s expertise. We hope to have the first of these exchanges implemented by Fall 2021. At the University level, we are conducting final interviews for the Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I have been on the search committee, and I am very encouraged that we have such an experienced pool of candidates for this important position. Lastly, we continue our law school’s continuing tradition of celebrating our commitment to racial justice with our annual Diversity & Inclusion Celebration, which will be held virtually this year on February 4. We are always gratified by the support of our alumni who embrace this event. Please join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and organizations committed to promoting racial justice. You can find details and registration here. I look forward to seeing you there.
I am pleased to announce that Professor Eric Goldman has agreed to serve as the new Associate Dean of Research. Professor Goldman is a highly regarded scholar and has twice been ranked as one of the 20 most-cited intellectual property and cyber law scholars in the U.S. In 2019, he received Santa Clara University’s highest award for scholarly achievement. I have every confidence that he will do an amazing job supporting our faculty. Please join me in welcoming him to this new role. I wish to also thank Professor Gary Spitko who has served in this role for 2 years. Under his stewardship, our scholarship has been widely recognized and his tremendous contributions set the foundation for Professor Goldman.
Finally, I am delighted that the new dean for Santa Clara Law, Michael Kaufman, will join us on July 1. I will work closely with him to ensure a smooth transition, and I look forward to placing the reins of the law school into his very capable hands. Learn more about Dean Kaufman here.
I invite you to join me in looking forward to this new year with cautious optimism and a hopeful spirit for all that we can accomplish together.
Interim Dean, Santa Clara Law