Fall 2008 Dean's Message
Dear Friends of Santa Clara Law:
I hope you enjoy this issue of Santa Clara Law. As one of our key means of communicating with you, this magazine aims to provide meaningful and up-to-date information about the law school, as well as thoughtful stories about your fellow alumni.
A recent survey of Santa Clara Law graduates revealed deep appreciation for the magazine and provided many insights into how we can better share news about our school, its programs, and our extended school community. I am always eager to hear your thoughts and recommendations about this publication—the stories and articles you enjoy, as well as the stories or articles you would like to see covered here. This magazine is for you, and we want to know how it—and we—can best serve you.
OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
In this issue, we explore a critical national policy issue—increasing the diversity of the legal profession—and the many ways Santa Clara Law has been working toward a national goal of a more inclusive legal profession. Our cover story describes the law school's longstanding commitment to creating a more diverse learning environment, and why enhanced diversity at law schools like Santa Clara Law is so important to the legal profession.
Last year, Santa Clara Law received approximately four thousand applications for the three hundred spots in our entering class, and a large percentage of our applicants, and 45 percent of the Class of 2011, are members of traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups (see Law Briefs). Clearly, Santa Clara Law has taken advantage of its location in the San Francisco Bay Area, its history as a diverse, Jesuit, Catholic university's law school, and the growing diversity of our faculty to graduate increasing numbers of minority attorneys. These graduates then go on to be role models and mentors for others, thereby helping move the nation toward a more diverse legal profession.
ABA INSPECTION AND STRATEGIC PLANS
In April, the law school hosted a three-day visit by a seven-person site inspection committee assembled and sent by the American Bar Association, the official accrediting agency for American legal education, and the Association of American Law Schools. Their written report is highly complimentary of the law school and its programs, personnel, and values. We plan to build on that very strong and positive peer assessment in the coming year through the implementation of a long-range and strategic planning process. We will engage leading lawyers, judges, faculty, and staff members in a thoughtful appraisal of the law school's current challenges and opportunities, and we will work together to articulate strategies that will achieve our ambitious goals. I will share more news with you on this planning process in this magazine as well as through other communications.
It is great honor for me to continue to serve as the Dean of Santa Clara University's School of Law and I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions.
DONALD J. POLDEN