Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dean Michael J. Kaufman

Dear Members of the Santa Clara Law Community,

Our students, staff, and faculty have received great acclaim for their extraordinary productivity and impact over the past month.

On Friday, April 15th, Janelle Barbier JD ’23 and Matthew Lem JD ’23 aargued in the final round at the national rounds of competition in the AIPLA Giles S. Rich Moot Court Tournament and won! They argued before a Federal Circuit panel of Judges Taranto, Dyk, and Bryson. They were supported by a team of coaches, faculty, and the HMCE Director and competition manager Michael Wang JD ’22. Click here to learn more about their successful run in the competition.

Our clinics are another place in which the law school’s values and commitment to justice are regularly on display. Two weeks ago, our NCIP legal team, including students, and led by Executive Director and Professor Linda Starr and Professor Paige Kaneb, obtained the reversal and dismissal of all charges for their client, Joaquin Ciria, who spent 32 years incarcerated for a murder he did not commit. Click here to read the press release and see the announcement. We applaud NCIP’s fierce determination and unwavering faith in their client’s innocence. Their work exemplifies the use of professional habits of mind and heart in the pursuit of justice.

Our faculty also are producing scholarship that is receiving widespread recognition. Our Acting President and former Dean of the Law School, Lisa Kloppenberg released an awe-inspiring  book last month entitled, “The Best Beloved Thing is Justice: The Life of Dorothy Wright Nelson” (Oxford University Press). As part of the Santa Clara Law–Stanford Law Conflict Resolution Workshop, we honored her compelling history of Judge Nelson’s contributions to the legal profession, gender equity, and conflict resolution. We also celebrated the publication of Professor David Sloss’ monumental new book, Tyrants on Twitter: Protecting Democracies from Information Warfare (Stanford University Press). It offers the first detailed analysis of how Chinese and Russian agents weaponize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to subvert the liberal international order. The book calls for cooperation among democratic governments to create a new transnational system for regulating social media to protect Western democracies from information warfare. Both of these books are illustrations of the impactful contributions our faculty are making within the broader field of legal education.

In a few weeks, we will be holding the University’s 171st commencement exercises and the Law School’s 111th graduation ceremony, as we congratulate all of the members of the graduating class on their profound professional achievement. We are grateful to be welcoming The Honorable Edward J. Davila, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, to the Mission Campus to receive an honorary degree and deliver this year’s Commencement Address. We are so honored that Judge Davila, who is the immediate past chair of our Law Advisory Board, a prominent member of the judicial community, and a devoted public servant, has accepted our invitation.

I am also very excited to report that in the coming weeks, we will be re-introducing a new version of the law school’s hard-copy magazine under the name DISCERN. With its deep roots in Jesuit education, the spirit of discernment calls us all to make choices and take actions which lead us closer to the greater good. In the pages of DISCERN, we will seek to capture and highlight the myriad ways in which our law school community builds on its distinctive strengths to make our common home more just, humane, and sustainable. After you have read this inaugural issue, please share your thoughts with us. We look forward to making this publication an edifying and inspiring must-read for all of our friends and graduates.

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman signature