Santa Clara University School of Law welcomes back to campus Rupa Bhandari J.D. ’05, as the new assistant dean for the Office of Career Management (OCM) and an adjunct law professor. “I have always had a passion for supporting students in their careers, and I am so excited to help the students at my alma mater,” says Bhandari. “The OCM team here is very dedicated. I am also looking forward to the new Critical Lawyering Skills class, for which I will be one of the instructors.”
After graduating from Santa Clara Law in 2005, Bhandari practiced at a mid-sized litigation firm in health law and employment law. While she enjoyed litigation, her favorite part was mentoring the 2L summer associates and working with the diversity committee to create a law school pipeline program. She then joined a small start-up firm before moving to higher education in 2008. For 3 years she worked as the associate director for Career Development at U.C. Hastings College of the Law, and then worked in Student Services first as the director and then as the assistant dean. While there she collaborated with other faculty and administrators to create a professional development curriculum for the 1Ls that included a written professional development plan and a coaching meeting to debrief the written plan. In 2011, students voted her Administrator of the Year in and in 2017 she was recognized for Outstanding Contributions to the U.C. Hastings Community, with Distinction.
Besides being an alumna, Bhandari has other ties to Santa Clara Law: She met her husband, Sameer Khedekar J.D. ’03, an immigration attorney, in law school, and they have two children.