SCU Law Dean Anna Han
Dean's Letter

Letter from the Dean — November 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well. I wanted to share some of our recent activities since we last communicated.

WE CAN HAVE FUN EVEN IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC

On Friday, October 30, the staff had a virtual Halloween party and prizes were awarded. Everyone got into the spirit of the holiday and showed up with imaginative costumes. Technology allowed some participants to change costumes all throughout the event.

Our High Tech Law Institute hosted the first-ever IP-themed virtual escape room for the intellectual property scholarly community in collaboration with Paruzal Games. “Publish or Perish: High Tech Law Edition” challenged teams to explore Charney Hall to unlock a series of puzzles within 75 minutes.  The game featured thirty-seven IP and Santa Clara Law themed “Easter eggs” that when discovered, took time off the team’s final score. Seven teams and approximately forty IP law professors and academics from over thirty universities from coast to coast, India and Japan, competed for bragging rights and the grand prize – the chance to be immortalized as a bobblehead!

ADDRESSING THE ELECTION

As the outcomes of our recent elections continue to unfold, we are hosting events to cover the legal aspects of our voting process. Yesterday, my office co-hosted a virtual event on the topic of Post-Election Issues, a recording of which will be shared on our YouTube channel shortly. This event, moderated by Professor Brad Joondeph, looked at legal issues surrounding the election. Our panelists were Professors Flynn, Gulasekaram, Sandoval, Serafin, and Streseman. At noon on November 10, HTLI will also host an event on the topic of Elections Interference. Additional details and registration are available online.

SPRING SEMESTER OUTLOOK

While the pandemic continues to challenge us all, here at Santa Clara Law we are keeping our focus forward with health and safety being our foremost concerns. Looking ahead to our Spring 2021 semester, we have reviewed the latest in health and safety guidelines, and in light of those, we will continue to offer almost all of our classes online for the Spring 2021 semester. We do have hope of some in-person activities as we know how important it is to gather and experience the joy of community that our Santa Clara Law offers. We also hope to provide our library space for students to study in. During this period, our law library has continued its stellar service to provide material to faculty and students both electronically and in hard copies. This is but a small example of our continuing to provide the education our students deserve.

COMMITMENT TO EQUITY, JUSTICE, AND INCLUSION

Santa Clara Law continues our ongoing commitment to racial justice, including two additional faculty workshops to increase awareness of unconscious bias and handle racial issues. As with the last one, we had tremendous participation from our faculty.  I also recently met with our alumni leaders in the county who are deeply concerned about these issues and how they impact our students.  My conversation with Carlos Rosario JD ’11 and Deborah Moss-West JD ’94, leaders of the Santa Clara County Black Lawyers Association,  and with Micael “Mica” Estremera JD ’06 and Maya Younes JD ’18, leaders of the Santa Clara County La Raza Lawyers Association was informative and will continue as we find ways to help our current students. I have also reached out to tech companies in the Valley about partnering up and creating a pathway for underrepresented engineers to become lawyers as well as other pipelines to increase the diversity of the law school. The work continues….

BEHIND THE SCENES

The Law School will be featured in an educational docuseries program, Behind the Scenes, highlighting the ways we prepare lawyers for the challenges of the future. The short features interviews with me, Howard Charney MBA 73, JD 77, Dorian Daley JD 86, and past SBA Co-President Ozzy Hidalgo Otamendi JD ’20. We had terrific participation in January by our faculty, staff, and students who made the filming possible. This program will air nationally later this month and will be available on our website as well.

A SEASON OF GRATITUDE

The Thanksgiving holiday prompts me to reflect on things to be grateful for and for ways to give back even in the midst of so many challenges. I am grateful for our amazing alumni community, who continue to offer much-needed support to the Law School in so many ways, including mentoring, donations, and their expressions of care and concern. I am also grateful for our passionate students, who are working hard and keeping a positive attitude in this difficult time. I continue to be grateful for the creativity and dedication of my faculty and staff colleagues at the Law School, who are committed to offering our students an outstanding legal education with the tools we have to use right now. I admire all the resilience and teamwork that everyone has demonstrated. None of us thought this pandemic would last this long but we keep doing what we need to do for this institution we all love. For all these reasons, I have much to be grateful for when I sit down for a much smaller gathering with my family this Thanksgiving.

I hope you have a peaceful and safe Thanksgiving with your family.

Best wishes,

Anna Han
Interim Dean, Santa Clara Law