Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dear Members of the Santa Clara Law Community,

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone was able to enjoy the blessings of family and friends throughout the holiday season.

As the Law School enters a new year, we look forward to opportunities for personal and professional growth, while remaining mindful of the serious challenges we face. As a country and as a law school, we continue to grapple with a shifting global pandemic, a reckoning to racial injustice, and stark reminders of the fragility of our democracy, the right to vote, and the rule of law.

I am confident that if we continue to work together, we can overcome these challenges by staying true to our enduring values, building on our many distinctive strengths, and realizing our common objectives. Even as we encounter and respond to new COVID-19 variants, we remain committed to providing a robust learning environment that ensures our students’ academic and professional success, while simultaneously caring for the health, safety, and well-being of our entire university community.

Later this spring, we will be working with the University to launch an inclusive and dynamic strategic planning process, which will produce a roadmap for the fulfillment of our shared vision of educational excellence. I invite you to follow our progress here.

Last week, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), an important accrediting body for law schools and a leading professional organization dedicated to excellence in legal education, held its Annual Meeting. In keeping with its tradition of leadership in legal education, Santa Clara Law faculty and administrators figured prominently in AALS’ Annual Meeting program, as presenters and panelists, section leaders, and award recipients. We are proud to have so many of our faculty leading the profession and contributing to these discussions across the legal education landscape. It is a testament to their impactful scholarship and their dedication to educating the next generation of legal professionals who will serve justice and uphold the rule of law.

As we look forward to celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday next week, we continue to work hard to take concrete steps to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community of legal scholars and educators, dedicated staff, extraordinary students, loyal alumni, community partners, and University colleagues. This year, the School of Law will honor Dr. King by presenting a powerful virtual program led by Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a social justice advocate, lawyer, trusted advisor, and speechwriter to Dr. King. Inspired by the words and deeds of Dr. Jones and Dr. King, the members of this exceptional Santa Clara Law community will always continue to answer the knock on the door at midnight. I have great faith that with your ongoing assistance, we will continue to build the future of justice, a future that is diverse, equitable and inclusive, and one in which participatory democracy and the rule of law are protected as precious instruments of reconciliation and social justice.

Each day, life presents us with glorious challenges and opportunities. Let us rise together to meet those challenges and work together to seize those opportunities. I know we will!

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman signature