Dear Santa Clara Law community,
On this Easter Weekend holiday, I write with my best wishes for you and your family’s health, safety, and peace. As you may have heard, Santa Clara University School of Law has transitioned to online education after the order to shelter in place, and has postponed all in-person events through June 30, including Commencement. We are putting safety and wellness first, and will continue to deliver the top-notch education for which we are known.
In this unprecedented moment of history, I wanted to share my gratitude for the many ways in which members of our community have stepped forward to help our students face this challenge. Faculty and staff members have worked long hours to move their classes and services online, and have worked diligently to help students deal with a host of issues including navigating remote learning, addressing housing and food insecurity, and more. They have been truly heroic in many ways. We are also keenly aware of how isolation can impact the mental health of our community and we are trying hard to stay connected as a community, even if it is virtually.
As you know, more than half of our law students receive scholarships or grants to help support their legal education, much of it due to your generosity. These needs have been magnified by these momentous circumstances. Right now, our students have urgent needs such as help with housing costs, food, and equipment to help bridge the technological divide. The disruption has impacted many but some have added burdens.
As part of the response to moving classes mid semester online, Santa Clara Law, like many law schools, has decided to only issue pass/no pass grades for this semester. As such, we made the decision to allow all students to keep their scholarships, regardless of GPA until such time that we are able to give letter grades again. We thought it was the only fair and right thing to do.
As a demonstration of how special our community is, many faculty and staff have already stepped forward to help support our law students’ immediate needs with donations. Current students have also contributed to these funds in support of their classmates. We are grateful to them but we need the support of the Santa Clara Law alumni and friends. I hope you will support us in donating to our Strategic Initiatives Fund, which was established to help our students in these emergency situations. We realize that many of you may find yourselves unable to give at this time, and we understand. For all of you, I have an equally important request. In your hiring and retention decision, please consider SCU law students, especially those graduating this May. This is a group that will face some daunting challenges. They took their last classes online. This class is not able to share the joy of graduation with their classmates and family and they are facing uncertainly on the Bar exam. I trust the SCU community will unite to help this group and this is where our strength lies. While we may be physically isolated, our spirts remain united.
Thank you for your continued support, and I wish you good health,
Interim Dean of Santa Clara Law