Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dear Members of the Santa Clara Law Community,

Our mission constantly calls us to do the work of promoting racial justice and creating a greater spirit of inclusivity and belonging within the Law School and the communities we serve. In the month of February, which is recognized nationally as Black History Month, we have a heightened responsibility to redouble our efforts. We acknowledge that there is more work to be done, and we encourage one another to go beyond performative gestures and to live out our Law School’s enduring values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Last week, the Center for Social Justice & Public Service held its annual Benefit for Justice, highlighting the Center’s work and raising money to support law students who obtain summer positions with non-profits and other organizations committed to social justice and the public interest. Law students who benefited from these stipends spoke passionately about the impact of their work and the experience they gained through a variety of placements. The Center’s Director, Professor Evangeline Abriel expressed her own gratitude for the students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors and sponsors who made this year’s event an outstanding success. She noted that, “Thanks to all of them, Santa Clara Law will be sending out a small army of social justice warriors in Summer 2022!”

Our Equity, Justice & Engagement Committee, consisting of students, staff, and faculty, has shown great leadership in ensuring that we are taking concrete steps towards building a more just community. This is a responsibility that our entire community has embraced. Later this semester, in concert with celebrating progress that has been made across the spectrum of diversity and inclusion initiatives, we will be announcing this year’s Thurgood Marshall Scholarship recipients. These law students embody Justice Marshall’s commitment to social justice and are so deserving of such recognition.

In March, Santa Clara Law holds our annual Alexander Law Prize Award. This year, Julia Olson, founder, Executive Director, and Chief Legal Counsel of Our Children’s Trust, a non-profit public interest law firm that provides strategic, campaign-based legal services to youth from diverse backgrounds to secure their legal rights to a safe climate system has been named the recipient of the2022 Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize on account of her contributions to this important area of law and policy. Made possible by the generosity of Katharine and George Alexander, the Alexander Law Prize brings recognition to legal advocates who have used their legal careers to help alleviate injustice and inequity.

We also live out our mission by adding diverse faculty members to our community who will join us in our shared commitment to building the future of justice. Over the past two years, we have added five new full-time faculty members to the law school. These wonderful additions illustrate our commitment to investing in our faculty and building a more diverse and representative community of educators and scholars.

I am heartened that our entire Santa Clara Law community–including our extraordinary alumni, students, faculty, and staff–are always ready to come together to answer the call to fight injustice in its many forms.

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman signature