Dear Members of the Santa Clara Law Community,

Please accept my warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, joyous, and fulfilling new year!

Reflecting on our collective achievements in the past year, I am grateful for the time and talent that our alumni, faculty, and staff have contributed to help overcome the challenges still posed by the pandemic and to build on our law school’s many distinctive strengths.

Through the efforts and support of our dedicated community, we will welcome our first cohorts to the newest Santa Clara Law programs in the fall of 2023 – the Flex J.D. (a part-time, hybrid program designed for working professionals who wish to pursue a law degree), and the Public Interest J.D. (in keeping with Santa Clara Law’s history of producing civic leaders, this program will provide a clear pathway for those seeking careers in public service).

Central to the Law School’s mission of access and affordability, our clinics also expanded their provision of essential legal services for clients who could not otherwise afford legal representation. Our faculty, staff attorneys, and students have helped to secure 35 exonerations for the wrongfully incarcerated; counseled underserved members of our surrounding community; published numerous impactful articles; prepared amicus briefs to advance international human rights and environmental justice; and helped countless entrepreneurs obtain access to the engines of economic opportunity.

Thanks to your generosity, Charney Hall has become the vibrant and diverse hub of our student-centered learning community. In 2022, we enrolled an exceptionally diverse and talented class of students, 57% of whom identified as persons of color and 22% as first-generation students. In our challenging classes, legal conferences, and respectful and balanced forums, we are addressing our world’s most pressing issues. Charney Hall is buzzing with student engagement on all levels, including Student Bar Association and affinity group forums, conversations with staff-educators and faculty through atrium office hours and social gatherings like the regular Breakfast and Banter and Coffee and Conversation social get-togethers, and mentoring sessions with our two distinguished jurists-in-residence: Justice Panelli and Judge Pichon.

At the center of all of our Charney Hall action – at the heart of our law school family – is the wonderful Carmo Correia, who oversees the Sidecar Cafe with tremendous skill and grace; she is a role model of loving kindness for us all.

Like many of you, I am excited to enter the new year with a renewed sense of gratitude and optimism. Knowing the character of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partners, I have no doubt that 2023 will be a year abundant with opportunities for us to work together to continue to strengthen our law school community and to build the future of justice.

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman signature