SCU Law Dean Anna Han
Dean's Letter

Letter from the Dean — October 2020

Dear Alumni and Friends of Santa Clara Law,
As we settle into our fall semester of virtual classes at Santa Clara Law, we are looking ahead to our future. Recently, I have been enjoying having small group discussions with our new students, 1Ls, and LLMs. I am grateful for the energy, excitement, and ideas I am hearing from these new members of our Santa Clara Law community. They are engaged, enjoying classes, and feel very welcomed by everyone they have met. I am glad that our sense of community is not diminished despite the virtual environment.

I am also thrilled and grateful that three of our alumni, Justice Edward A. Panelli BS ’53, JD ’55;  Judge Risë Pichon BS 73, JD 76;  and Howard Charney, MBA 73, JD 77, will be holding virtual advising meetings with our students throughout the year, offering their wisdom and insights to support our students on their journey to becoming lawyers. This is another wonderful example of our alumni network in action.


Santa Clara Law is committed to creating, maintaining, and promoting a more inclusive and racially just environment for all members of our community. In light of recent events, we are strengthening this commitment through the establishment of an Equity, Justice & Engagement Committee as well as a comprehensive consideration of these ideals in all that we are doing. Recently, we welcomed Marcia Chatelain, a professor at Georgetown University, to present an excellent talk to our faculty: “Inclusive Teaching: Addressing the Issues of Race and Diversity In (and Out of) the Classroom.” This is the first of many such discussions we are planning to support our growth in this critical area.


I was proud to be part of a recent panel focused on the very important goal of increasing diversity in the legal profession for the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel (CCPUC). I was invited to participate by two Santa Clara Law alumni, Tara Kaushik JD ’03 and Jamie Ormond JD ’12, who are on the CCPUC board. Member lawyers of CCPUC attended the session. You can see a video here. 


I look forward to seeing you at our Law Virtual Reunion coming up on October 9. Please register and join us. Our External Relations team is hard at work preparing this first-ever virtual event for you. Alumni Association President Karin Cogbill JD ’06 will offer a welcome, I will share an update on the law school, and then we will offer a toast to the graduates of the class of 1970, who are our newest 50-year reunion graduates, and welcome them to the Ruffo Society. I find great joy in reconnecting with each of our alumni however we can during this time. Even in a virtual environment, our reunion serves as a great reminder that your Santa Clara Law community is always here for you.


Santa Clara Law is actively recruiting students for the 2021 incoming class now, and we are grateful to our alumni who are telling our Santa Clara Law story by speaking at various LSAC events to help recruit students. We also applaud our Law Admissions team for the diligent and creative work they are doing to reach students in this virtual world, including increased email outreach as well as presentations at virtual LSAC forum panels. If you are interested in helping recruit the next generation of Santa Clara lawyers, we’d love your help. Your first-person testimonial about your law school experience is one of the most valuable things we have in our student recruitment toolbox. Please contact Annemarie Scott at for additional details on how to get involved.


I have been actively collaborating with other ABA law school Deans in California to encourage both the California Supreme Court and the Committee of Bar Examiners to consider diploma privilege or provisional licensing, shorten the Bar, allow for open book exam instead of remote proctoring, and encouraging the retroactive application of the 139 cut score to the February 2020 Bar. I feel that we must support our graduates who have already experienced great uncertainty this year. I am proud that Santa Clara Law will host some of our Bar test-takers in Charney Hall during the Bar on October 5-6. I want to wish each of them the best of luck on the Bar exam.


Thank you, as always, for your support of Santa Clara Law.


Anna Han
Interim Dean
Santa Clara Law