Our Plan

Building on our strengths for greatness

The University’s law initiative calls for Santa Clara Law to lead by joining with alumni, friends, and partners to invest in and expand upon its distinctive strengths:

  • High-achieving students
  • Excellent faculty who are scholars, thought leaders, and legal practitioners
  • Signature institutes, clinics, and centers
  • Silicon Valley location, the epicenter of innovation and technology
  • Jesuit values and philosophy of education

These are precisely the strengths required to expand the frontier of legal thinking and practice and approach the law as a means to building a more just, humane, and sustainable world.

In addition to supporting scholarships and the Howard S. and Alida S. Charney Hall of Law, other opportunities to strengthen Santa Clara Law and invest in its future follow.


Faculty: Distinguished Scholars and Teachers

Santa Clara Law is committed to meeting the challenge of recruiting and retaining leading teachers, scholars, and mentors in a highly competitive market environment.

This will magnify the school’s ability to train the next generation of academically excellent, ethical legal leaders for the region and beyond. These educators will join the ranks of current faculty who are distinguished scholars, legal practitioners, and national thought leaders, including:

  • Colleen Chien, associate professor; former White House senior intellectual property advisor
  • Eric Goldman, co-director, High Tech Law Institute; authority on Internet law; prodigious blogger
  • Brian Love, co-director, High Tech Law Institute; widely published media commentator
  • Laura Norris J.D. ’97, director, Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic; one of the top 50 women leaders in tech law (The Recorder, 2014)
  • Tyler Ochoa, professor; expert in copyright law and rights of publicity

Together, Santa Clara Law’s institutes, centers, projects, and clinics form another of the school’s bedrock strengths.

Charney Hall will enable the law school to enhance and solidify the benfits of these programs to students, faculty, alumni, employers, and clients. It will house these programs, which are instrumental in incubating thought leadership, providing legal aid to external communities, promoting legal social justice, and offering students legal skill-building opportunities. The following are among the law school’s signature programs:


High Tech Law Institute

The world-renowned High Tech Law Institute (HTLI) houses the nationally ranked intellectual property law program. In addition to its many full-time faculty members with expertise in intellectual property and technology law, the Institute has dozens of part-time faculty working on the front lines of intellectual property law and high-tech law in Silicon Valley. These faculty share their real-world experience with students, ensuring that the curriculum remains relevant to the needs of the industry.

Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic

The Entrepreneurs’ Law Clinic (ELC) supports the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing high-quality, pro bono legal services to Silicon Valley startups. Its dual purpose is to expose law students to real-life issues that confront Silicon Valley companies and to give startups, in the often precarious early stages of development, much-needed legal help.

Northern California Innocence Project

Through the Northern California Innocence Project (NCIP), students have helped make huge strides in protecting the rights of the innocent, with the goal of increasing fairness, ef ciency, and compassion in the criminal justice system.

International Human Rights Clinic

The International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) promotes and protects basic human rights and dignity at the local, national, and international levels. Its goals are to give students real-world opportunities that help them develop practical and transferable legal skills and become ethical professionals, to provide pro bono legal services to victims of human rights violations, and to work on cutting-edge projects that advance social justice.

Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center

In addition to the above Charney Hall-housed initiatives, opportunities exist to support the off-campus Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center (KGACLC), whose two-fold mission is to train law students and to serve the legal needs of the local low-income community. Law students work under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty to provide free legal services in the areas of consumer protection, workers’ rights, immigration, and human trafficking.


Silicon Valley and the Bay Area that surrounds it are unlike any place else on earth. The region is the epicenter of innovation, attracting extraordinary talent and resources.

It is a proving ground for new scientific and technological industries and trailblazing ventures. SCU provides about 20 percent of the law school graduates in the area, and the opportunities to practice law in intellectual property, venture capital, biotechnology, antitrust, and privacy are boundless. The University’s law initiative will build upon and strengthen this strategic connection.

The University’s Jesuit philosophy of education emphasizes social justice, experiential learning, collaboration, and the education of the whole person.

As a result, the University will continue to graduate lawyers with creativity, independence, problem-solving skills, and deep ethical grounding—the exact skills needed to succeed and to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in service to humanity.

Alumni Reunion


For more information about supporting Santa Clara Law’s plan for the future:

Karen Bernosky
Senior Director of Development
Santa Clara University School of Law