BY DONALD J. POLDEN, DEAN, SANTA CLARA LAW
A Progress Report on Santa Clara Law’s Strategic Plan
We are nearing the end of a very successful semester and I have good progress to report. In the past several issues of the magazine, we have shared our Strategic Plan and its five key goals. Below is an updated progress report that highlights some of our recent major activities and achievements relating to these goals.
This is a promising time for Santa Clara Law, and our progress reflects the strong support of our alumni and friends. Gifts to our Strategic Initiatives Fund continue to make possible some of our most critical programs and initiatives that help prepare our students to become successful members of the legal profession.
GOAL: Strengthen the educational program
to meet the needs of a changing world
It is becoming increasingly obvious that law school students must develop the key skills they will need as lawyers as part of their regular curriculum. Law firms tell us they want our graduates to be “practice ready”; to have well-honed writing and research skills; to have real-life experience gained through externships, working in clinics, and interacting with clients. In this magazine (Page 8) we highlight the expanded externship opportunities available at Santa Clara Law.
Another exciting development is that Santa Clara Law and the High Tech Law Institute are creating a new Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic to provide start-up legal services to entrepreneurs who have a connection with SCU. The clinic, to be launched in May 2013, will help entrepreneurs with entity formation, financing, transactions, and product counseling. Under the supervision of the Clinic Director, students will participate in all aspects of the services. Professor Eric Goldman, Director of the High Tech Law Institute, has high hopes for the project. “This clinic strengthens our ability to prepare students to be 21st century Silicon Valley lawyers,” he says. “The clinic will also create collaboration opportunities with the Business School, the Engineering School, and other parts of Santa Clara University, and it will provide more legal resources for entrepreneurs who are helping create new companies—and new jobs—in California.”
GOAL: Enroll top students
Our entering class is a special group of talented students who were attracted by Santa Clara’s strong reputation and Silicon Valley location. The 199 full-time and 38 part-time students range in age from 21 to 58. Their demographics are very similar to previous years with 46 percent representing minority groups and 46 percent women. Students come from 95 different undergraduate schools and 21 states. Two of our new students, both of whom received full-tuition fellowships for their academic promise, are profiled here.
GOAL: Hire and retain top scholars
We are pleased to welcome three new outstanding scholars to the law school faculty.
In addition, Santa Clara Law faculty members continue to raise their profiles and that of the school through serious scholarship and their participation in public dialogue. (Some recent faculty activities are highlighted here.) A good example is Professor Kerry MacIntosh’s new book, Human Cloning: Four Fallacies and Their Legal Consequences, in which she describes the current state of research in animal and human cloning, the psychology surrounding cloning, and the current legal issues and those that will likely have to be addressed in the future.
Another recent example is Professor David Sloss’s amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of petitioners in the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum case regarding the Alien Tort Act. To keep abreast of faculty news please visit our Faculty News web page. You can also follow faculty scholarship through the Heafey Law Library’s Digital Commons.
“There is no power in the world quite like the magic of learning that can happen in a classroom. We know that at least three elements are crucial: a talented teacher, receptive students, and a physical space that can properly host the pedagogy. The greatest lectures are lost in the wrong environment, and the most earnest students cannot join the conversation where the architecture impedes it. All of our experience, as well as our best social science, tells us that the context in which we deploy our efforts makes a huge difference in the outcomes we can expect.”
—David G. Yosifon
GOAL: Collaborate with our
communities and constituents
Our annual Diversity Gala exemplifies the positive relationship Santa Clara Law has with our community. It is an opportunity for lawyers to form relationships that develop into mentorships, to be assured by representatives from participating organizations that diversity is highly valued, and to recognize the contributions that prominent members of the legal profession have made to further the interest of minority groups. More than 300 people attended the 2012 Diversity Gala to honor the award recipients.
On March 18, 2013, Santa Clara Law will be recognizing another extraordinary person as the recipient of the 2012 Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize: Chen Guangcheng, a Chinese lawyer and civil rights activist who worked on human rights issues in rural areas of the People’s Republic of China. He is best known for exposing alleged abuses in official family planning practices, often involving claims of violence and forced abortions. Chen was subject to imprisonment and eventually house arrest before he fled to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing last April. He now resides in New York City with his wife and family.
GOAL: Develop the law school building complex
to support our vision of Santa Clara Law’s future
It has become increasingly obvious that our last goal is critical to all the others. Our vision is a law campus within the Santa Clara University campus—an integrated law community that will support the interactive teaching and learning that tomorrow’s lawyers need today.
The new campus will be much more than buildings. It will offer a sense of place for Santa Clara Law, a place where alumni, attorneys, and the greater community can gather, and a place where our future can unfold. Cannon Design, a nationally renowned architectural firm, has moved forward with the first phase of planning these new facilities. We are pleased to share these graphics showing the placement of our new building and the renovated Bannan Hall and an architectural rendering of the front of the new building.
Look for more information on our progress in future issues of Santa Clara Law.
Dean Donald Polden, left, and David Tsai ’06, far right, event chair, celebrate with the 2012 honorees at the Santa Clara Law Diversity Gala. Second from left, David Drummond, representing Google, Inc., Andrew A. Vu ’93, and The Honorable Phyllis J. Hamilton ’76.
Santa Clara Law on the map.