Dear Friends of Santa Clara Law:
Since January 2009, the School of Law has conducted a strategic planning process with a goal of identifying significant opportunities for the law school to articulate our goals, enhance our programs, and address challenges faced by our school and legal education at large. The 40-person Strategic Planning Committee, which was co-chaired by Gordon Yamate ’80 and Professor Bradley Joondeph, consisted of members of the law faculty and staff, federal and state judges, practicing attorneys and several corporation counsel. The drafts of the strategic plan were widely circulated for comment and the result has been a thoughtful School of Law Strategic Plan and Report (online at my new dean’s site—law.scu.edu/dean).
The Strategic Plan and Report articulates an ambitious vision for Santa Clara Law, one that builds on the law school’s successful programs, distinguished graduates, and its century of service; and the plan lays out five primary goals that the law school, together with its graduates, University leadership, and Silicon Valley friends and supporters, will undertake immediately. Moreover, the plan calls for the formation of an implementation group that will monitor the law school’s progress on achieving its goals, make changes in the strategies and objectives as conditions change, and periodically report to the law school’s communities. The five overarching goals established by the Strategic Planning Committee are:
- Strengthen the educational program to meet the challenges of a changing world.
- Attract and retain a broadly diverse, highly talented student population.
- Attract, retain, and inspire a faculty of distinguished teachers and scholars.
- Integrate the law school with the greater University community.
- Develop new and renovated physical facilities to support the law school.
In addition to identifying primary goals that lie ahead, the Strategic Planning Committee helpfully identified many of the strengths of, and opportunities presented to, the law school, including its location in one of the most vibrant and creative areas of the country, a talented and engaged alumni of more than 11,000 lawyers and judges, the long standing inculcation of Jesuit values and ideals, and a faculty that aspires to national prominence and recognition. To accomplish our goals, however, the report identifies challenges facing the school as it begins its next century of service to the legal profession and its communities. Those challenges includes the escalating costs of a legal education, fierce competition for the best students and faculty by increasingly well financed peer law schools, and the need to educate students for a greater range of skills and competencies in an increasingly global legal profession. Clearly, the Strategic Planning Committee and the law school administration and faculty believe we are up to the challenges the law school faces and can take advantage of the opportunities presented to us as we move forward. The accomplishments of our goals will require the commitment and support of everyone at the law school, along with our graduates, our friends, and University leadership.
I encourage you to read our Strategic Plan and Report and to share your views and recommendations concerning our ambitious path for the law school’s future. I look forward to hearing from you.
DONALD J. POLDEN