Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dear Members of the Santa Clara Law Community,

As we all bear witness to the atrocities and suffering in Ukraine, we are reminded of our calling to use our talents, tenacity, and tenderness in the service of, and with, others. Our Santa Clara legal education prepares us to be guardians of the rule of law, human freedom, and democratic institutions everywhere they are threatened. We are called by our Santa Clara mission to walk in solidarity with those whose human dignity is violated, work towards justice and peace, and accompany one another in the creation of a hope-filled future.

Even in these dark days, hope springs eternal. All around us, flower blossoms are emerging from the harsh winter soil, and we too are emerging from the challenges of yet another Covid winter of illness and uncertainty. In the spirit of renewal, we are overjoyed to welcome our University’s 30th President, a tremendous leader of conscience, conviction, and compassion who will help our law school and our University advance our Jesuit mission and realize our strategic goals. We are truly blessed to have Julie H. Sullivan, Ph.D. at the helm. Together, we will emerge stronger and with a renewed sense of shared purpose.

Over the past month, I have had the privilege of participating in programs that actualize our law school’s enduring values and build upon our distinctive strengths. In February, Santa Clara University welcomed the most recent cohort from the Ignatian Legacy Fellows program, and the Law School was a featured destination within their visit. In my remarks, I shared with them the exceptional value of our Jesuit legal education, and a historic initiative among a group of deans from all of the nation’s Jesuit law schools to work collaboratively to strengthen our distinctive course offerings and unique Jesuit identity. These vital connections reaffirm precisely who we are as an institution and what we can offer to our students.

We also offer our students an authentic sense of community and lifelong relationships through every phase of their careers. Just this past weekend, we hosted a group of 60 admitted students, current students, and alumni, for casual fellowship and college basketball. Attendees reflected the rich diversity of our student body. It’s no surprise that Santa Clara Law has become known as much for its curriculum as it has for its open-hearted community. We have already begun the process of planning our next gathering, and look forward to welcoming all who can attend.

Finally, I invite you to join us on March 29th for the 2022 Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize. 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 the award 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.

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman signature