SCU Law Dean Anna Han
Dean's Letter

Letter from the Dean — September 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends:

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and well. 

We are ending a summer that has been unlike any before—with a worldwide pandemic, hundreds of wildfires raging in California, and a reminder about racial justice precipitated by a recent incident here on campus involving a University faculty member, Dr. Danielle Morgan and her family. The University made an initial statement on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 22, and a second and third communication with specific actions that will be taken in response. The Law School supports all actions that will be corrective and restorative of racial justice and more specifically, offer our support to  Dr. Morgan and her family.

In the coming days, the Law School will be having dialogues and training so that we can be more anti-racist and more able to promote justice and equity. We will do this collectively and I have begun personally by taking training in Inclusive Leadership and plan to continue to learn.

A number of our staff and students were evacuated during the fires and one student lost her house to the fire. We are doing all we can to support everyone through this period. Thankfully, everyone is safe.

Through all of this, we are excited to welcome a new class to our community.  I am grateful for the work of our admissions team, who has done a stellar job of connecting with prospective students and arranging financial aid packages to support this talented group of students. In addition, our faculty teaching scholars have spent many hours this summer preparing for an online fall semester. I am grateful for their dedication to ensuring the quality of our educational experience, no matter how it is delivered. Together, the Santa Clara Law community is thrilled to welcome a diverse, talented, and committed entering class of 2020, ready to join our vibrant legal community and become future leaders.

Welcoming the new Class of 2020
We look forward to getting to know the newest members of the Santa Clara Law community in the weeks ahead. At the start of the new academic year, our entering class of 2020 includes 227 full-time students and 22 part-time students, who come to Santa Clara from 23 states and 7 countries. Fifty-five percent of the entering class are women, 45 percent are men, and 22 members of our incoming class have advanced degrees, including nine PhDs. Additionally, 28 percent are first-generation students, meaning their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. We are proud to continue our commitment to diversifying the legal profession, and we are proud that more than 50 percent of the incoming class identify as a member of a minority community. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, donors, and friends, we are thrilled that we could support our incoming students with more than $5 million in scholarships. 

Convocation 2020
Each year, our community gathers for Convocation to inspire our students and launch our academic year with words of wisdom from our University and alumni leaders. This year, our event was joined by SCU President Kevin O’Brien, Provost Lisa Kloppenberg, President of the Board of Regents Risë Pichon BS ’73, JD ’76, and Santa Clara Law Student Bar Association leaders Preston Brock and Thi Tran. Our featured speaker was Professor David Yosifon, recently appointed as the Peter Canisius, S.J. Professorship from academic years 2020- 2025. We invite you to watch the virtual event here.

The Convocation is the culmination of a week-long online orientation, ably put together by our staff, faculty, and current students. I wish to acknowledge all their efforts, especially that of Karla De La Torre, Director of Student Life & Adjunct Professor for spearheading this effort.


New Programs
At Santa Clara, we continue to look towards the developing areas of law to  train our students in as well as produce cutting edge material to inform the legal community. We are excited that our Privacy Initiative has hired its Managing Director, Joy Baker Peacock. Joy will lead the new Privacy Law Initiative, which was created through a generous gift to increase the privacy law program at Santa Clara University, which already is classed among the top five percent of programs in the nation by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).  Joy was previously the Managing Director of our High Tech Law Institute from 2011-15. We welcome Joy back and know that our  Privacy Law Initiative will be in excellent hands.

New Leadership for External Relations
In the coming months, I hope that you will have the occasion to meet my new Senior Assistant Dean for External Relations and Santa Clara alumnus, Steve O’Brien. I have charged him with helping to shape and strengthen this important area for the Law School with his team, including our new Director of Development, Ash Farrington, and the assistance of the many constituents that comprise our Santa Clara Law family. I know that you will enjoy getting to know Steve and his team, and he is equally excited to get better acquainted with all of you.

I am deeply inspired by the many ways that our resilient Santa Clara Law community has come together to meet the unprecedented challenges we are facing now, and I am looking forward to an inspiring and intellectually enriching fall. I want to thank you all for the many ways that you live the values of Santa Clara Law, serve as representatives of the Law School, and support our efforts to educate law students in the best Santa Clara Law tradition.

With warm regards,


Anna Han
Interim Dean 
Santa Clara Law