Dear Members of the Santa Clara Law Community,

On Saturday, May 20th, we conducted a glorious commencement ceremony at the Leavey Center for our extraordinary Class of 2023. 

During the ceremony, Tricia Montalvo Timm J.D. ‘96 received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of her storied career as a general counsel, board director, venture investor, and acclaimed author; her unwavering commitment to cura personalis–care for the whole person; and her championing of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout her life. 

In her inspirational speech, Tricia Montalvo Timm reflected on her own personal journey and law career. As a woman and person of color, Montalvo Timm did not have the benefit of mentors or advisors who resembled her serving in leadership positions in the profession. She instead found strength and a pathway to ultimate success through two core mantras that she imparted to the graduating class of 2023: “Find your people” and “Find your power.” Montalvo Timm reminded the graduates to not underestimate the importance of the relationships that they form with each other and the endless possibilities that they will find when they commit to opening doors to opportunities for each other. She also emphasized the importance of self-acceptance and believing you belong–that each one of the graduates has individual power and unique perspective that can and should be used to improve the lives of others and elevate the legal profession.

President Julie Sullivan also shared beautiful words of congratulations for our graduates, noting the pressing and imminent needs of our time–from artificial intelligence to misinformation and disinformation. President Sullivan stressed the importance of the role of attorneys to ethically and conscientiously address these issues with the goal to achieve a more just and humane society.

I am incredibly grateful to the many members of our law school community and the extended SCU community who attended the Commencement ceremony and the Commencement events during the preceding days. From the first-generation dinner, international and LL.M. brunch, Center for Social Justice ceremony High-Tech Law Institute brunch, to the Law Commencement liturgy and awards reception, your strong showing of support resulted in a truly remarkable Commencement celebration for our beloved graduating class of 2023.

Finally, I want to take a moment to address a crucial step that lies ahead for most of our recent graduates—the California Bar Exam. As our graduates prepare to embark on the next important phase of their careers, they will now pivot their focus to passing the July Bar Exam. We wish them the very best of luck, and have unwavering faith in their ability to rise to the occasion!  

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman signature