Dear Friends,

At Santa Clara Law, we are coming together to: build on our many distinctive strengths; dramatically increase affordability and access to legal education; foster genuine student success and well-being; prepare our graduates to be productive participants, eminent professionals, and servant leaders in healthy local and global democracies; and design innovative, tech-fluent, and human-centered solutions to the world’s most vexing problems, particularly for underserved clients and communities.

This month, we held the second immersion session for our innovative hybrid Flex JD program, which makes law school possible for students throughout the country who are at every stage of their careers and from all walks of life. By unbundling our resources and bending time and space, we have more than doubled the number of our part-time J.D. students and we are now justifiably ranked the #1 such J.D. program in Northern California. Our amazing part-time students often share with us that, without this new program, they could never have gone to law school. They rightly express their gratitude to each other and to our spectacular, dedicated, and caring faculty and administrative team, who are with them every step of the way.

We also are the home of one of the nation’s top-ranked intellectual property programs, with a growing superstar faculty and the trail-blazing TechEdge J.D. program. As such, we are uniquely positioned to lead the world in responding to myriad issues raised by the rapid development of artificial intelligence. On February 2-3, for example, we are bringing to Charney Hall the leading scholars in intellectual property and tech law who will share their research and insights into the legal, political, and ethical structures surrounding emerging technologies and artificial intelligence – 21st Annual Works In Progress for Intellectual Property Scholars Colloquium.

In our role as leaders at the forefront of the practice of law, we are also hosting the 20th Annual Ingram Inn of Court Symposium on the pressing issue of “Artificial Intelligence: Its Promises and Challenges for Lawyers and the Legal Profession.” Just this week on Monday, we hosted an important conversation with attorneys in the Cooley firm and ChIPs, a nonprofit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law, and policy, centered around how our communities can continue to increase access and diversity in the tech sector.

On February 9, the law school will build upon its distinctive strengths in both high tech and international law. In true Santa Clara Law collaborative spirit, our High Tech Law Journal and our Journal of International Law are working together to sponsor a cutting-edge symposium regarding the human rights implications of data localization and data sovereignty. That evening, we are also holding our 18th Diversity & Inclusion Celebration, honoring Carlos Rosario and the Elevate Community Center for their inspiring work to pursue equity and justice for all. On March 1, we are hosting a Racial Justice Symposium, which will cover topics including the importance of historical narratives that have fueled racial disparities, biases, and discriminatory language in our communities, litigation strategies, the impact of implicit biases in our criminal legal system, and the reach of remedies to confront racism in the spirit of the Racial Justice Act.

With the support of our university’s incredible athletic director Renee Baumgartner, our Office of Career Management, and our prominent alum, Omar Habbas, the Sports Law Conference was a major success, with attendees traveling from as far as Canada to attend. Joined by leading experts, Charney Hall was buzzing with exciting panel discussions that gave a very unique insider perspective on the future of the industry. Including addressing the critical and complex issues facing student-athletes such as name, image, and likeness.

We are also taking a leadership role with our fellow Jesuit law schools and universities in reinforcing our democratic principles, practices, structures, and values. On February 5, Dr. Sekou Franklin, an SCU Alum, will be offering a university-wide keynote address about “Why Voting Rights Matter: Race and Elections in the U.S. South in the 21st Century.” Then on February 15, Santa Clara Law will present a special program featuring Professor David Sloss, who will speak on: “SCOTUS v. the People: the Supreme Court’s Assault on American Democracy.” So too, in February, the law school will be training even more of its students, staff, and faculty in the art of facilitating community circles, thereby building on its commitment to foster a culture rooted in restorative and transformative justice, trauma-informed practices, and respectful dialogue across differences.

We are so blessed to be in a law school community that is ready, willing, and able to meet our collective challenges head-on by coming together to build the future of justice for the communities and clients whom our exceptional students are called to serve. In doing so, we are all bearing witness to the rising social, economic, political, pedagogical, moral, and spiritual value of our Santa Clara legal education.

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman Signature