Dear Law Alumni and Friends,
I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. I am writing this just after the peaceful inauguration of our 46th President, and I am hopeful that this new administration will help to heal our nation from the many devastating crises and divisions that we face, from the pandemic to the climate crisis to racial injustice. As the inaugural poet Amanda Gorman said so eloquently:
“For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it”
I believe our most important work at Santa Clara Law is to educate lawyers who have the skills, confidence, and courage to be that light for others.
I am proud to be among the 157 Law School Deans from schools across the country who published a statement on January 12 concerning the attack on the US Capitol. It read, in part: “As legal educators and lawyers ourselves, we must redouble our efforts to restore faith in the rule of law and the ideals of the legal profession. We have enormous faith in the law’s enduring values and in our students, who will soon lead this profession. We call upon all members of the legal profession to join us in the vital work ahead.” We trust that many will heed the call. Read the full statement here.
I am very happy to share the good news that the California Supreme Court has approved the recommendation from the State Bar Board of Trustees that allows those test takers who earned a 1390 or above in the past five years to complete 300 hours as Provisionally Licensed Lawyers and then be admitted to the Bar. While not a complete retroactive application of the lower cut score, it will benefit many law school graduates.
We were delighted that on January 25, Santa Clara Law held a virtual swearing-in ceremony for our graduates who passed the October Bar. This event was co-sponsored by the Santa Clara County Bar Association. The Honorable Theodore C. Zayner from the Santa Clara Superior Court and the Honorable Edward Davila from the Northern District administered the oaths and members of the Santa Clara County Bar Association also spoke. As an educator, watching former students be sworn in remains one of the most gratifying aspects of my work. The event was virtual and allowed not only the people admitted to the Bar to attend but also, their friends and family who supported them. In a separate event, Judge Johnny Gogo also administered the attorney oath to a few Santa Clara Law graduates (photo below). Congratulations to all the new members of the Bar!
February is Black History Month and the theme for 2021 is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” Although we should learn all year long, this is a good time to focus on educating ourselves and celebrating Black history. Last night, we hosted the Diversity and Inclusion Celebration and we were pleased to recognize the National Black Law Students Association as Organization of the Year for their work increasing the number of culturally responsible, Black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. We awarded scholarships to several deserving students and we hope they will continue the work on civil rights and social justice that this scholarship encourages. We are proud of their accomplishments and thank the sponsors and donors for their generous support.
With gratitude for this community,
Interim Dean, Santa Clara Law