Summer 2009 Dean's Message
Dear Friends of Santa Clara Law:
This past academic year has been, in all material respects, a very successful one—filled with inspiring achievement and growing recognition of our program, but also one marked by caution and concern.
Leadership and the Law School
Santa Clara University is proud to have two graduates— Janet Napolitano '79 and Leon Panetta B.A. '60, J.D. '63 —appointed to key positions in President Obama's administration. Their appointments highlight Santa Clara's longtime commitment to educating men and women for leadership in their work and their communities. I was particularly struck by Leon Panetta's comment: "In our democracy, we govern either by leadership or by crisis. And today we have the responsibility to exercise leadership and to take the risks associated with leadership to guide this country in the right direction." His words remind me of the belief that leadership in a democracy is for everyone and we must develop leadership skills and potential in our students.
Recent Developments at the Law School
The law school received a very positive accreditation review report from the American bar Association. While the report commented very favorably on nearly all aspects of the law school's educational program and operation, it also recommended that we continue to address the longstanding space problems facing us. to that end, the University recently renovated the second and third floors of Bannan Hall, and soon the law school will have full use of Bannan Hall.
Another important development is that the law school has implemented a long range and strategic planning process. Approximately 40 lawyers, judges, and law faculty and deans serve on a planning committee, which has been meeting since January. the committee plans to complete its work and publish a strategic plan this fall. the report will be available to all online and the next issue of Santa Clara Law will include a recap of the plan.
Lastly, the economy has created a challenging job market for our law students, and one of the ways we are assisting them is through our newly formed Dean's Recruitment Advisory board. Composed of alumni leaders in several law firms and law organizations that often hire our graduates, this group is helping the law school stay in tune with what firms are looking for and how our students can be best prepared for various career opportunities, especially in a difficult economic and employment market.
We remain committed to the success of our students and graduates and plan to see them through these difficult times. I hope you will reach out to us and let us know how you can assist by mentoring and advising our students on career paths and opportunities and by seeking employment opportunities for them.
On behalf of the whole school community, I thank you for your ongoing support of Santa Clara Law. It is a great honor for me to serve as the dean of your law school.
DONALD J. POLDEN