External Relations Update

External Relations Update – November 2020

Over the next several months, as we endeavor to make our External Relations team more accessible to all of our Santa Clara Law constituents and attempt to have our work reflect the valuable feedback we receive from the broader Santa Clara Law community, we will highlight efforts being made in each part of our division to achieve these goals in the Santa Clara Law Magazine. This month, we feature some of the outstanding work being done in the area of Alumni Relations by Kendra Livingston JD ’15, our Director of External Relations. 

As an alumna of Santa Clara Law, I am committed to building on the structure of our past engagement success to further develop tools and opportunities for alumni to actively participate in the Santa Clara Law Community. This work is also a critical component of our broader external relations strategy.

Our team has been developing and implementing new programs for increasing engagement and building a stronger community in this new virtual environment. The lifelong relationship our alumni experience with Santa Clara Law is fostered by our team from the time prospective students are admitted through every phase of their career, adapting to changes in the industry as well as those driven by the current pandemic. 

In October, we hosted two alumni-focused virtual events, the annual Law Reunion and the first-ever Virtual Fall Forum. The Law Reunion was attended by over 100 alumni, who enjoyed visiting with one another in break out rooms and getting an update on the status of the Law School from Interim Dean Anna Han. The Virtual Fall Forum, an interactive presentation and open forum with key stakeholders, provided our team with a greater insight into what specific resources and connections alumni would like us to provide and offered attendees an insider’s perspective of the Law School’s External Relations efforts. 

Last year we piloted our Alumni Ambassadors program, featuring 10 alumni who have a proven track record of generously offering their time and energy to the Law School. This year, we are expanding this program to include an additional 10 alumni members.  We ask for your assistance in nominating classmates you think of as particularly engaged in the community who might be a good fit for this program.

Our alumni outreach is not just top-down, there are grassroots efforts from within the community to support our graduates. For example, early on in 2020, Chaya Baliga JD ’12 saw that the graduating class was facing the most challenging job market in at least a decade on account of the COVID shutdown. Chaya sought to assemble a team of volunteer alumni mentors among her fellow Santa Clara Law graduates open to assisting members of the Class of 2020 navigate the current job market. Nearly 130 graduates answered the call to serve as volunteer mentors to Class of 2020 graduates!

Finally, looking ahead, we are launching a new LinkedIn active networking group that will bring together current student leaders, alumni, and friends of the Law School in one place online. “The Leadership Network – Santa Clara Law” will be a place to find career opportunities, catch up with your fellow alumni, engage in more direct interaction with current Santa Clara Law students, and deepen one’s own connection to the Santa Clara Law community.

In addition to leading these programs and opportunities, our office also partners with the Office of Career Management to provide alumni with resources, counseling, and referrals to support their networking efforts and career growth objectives. Many alumni may not even be aware that they are eligible for various career services from Santa Clara Law throughout their career, including those outside of the traditional legal profession. 

We will continue to develop and further these efforts in the coming years, and I look forward to hearing from you about new ideas or opportunities for improving our community. Please consider joining us for our next event, attending our next Virtual Forum (November 17), signing up to mentor current students or graduates, or learning more about our Alumni Ambassadors program. These and other initiatives are designed to strengthen the Santa Clara Law family and enhance your own connections with your classmates and the Santa Clara Law community.