Dear Santa Clara Law Community, 

As the chill of November starts to take hold, let’s look back on some of the warm memories and accomplishments of our Law school faculty, staff-educators, students, and alumni. 

On October 20, our Center for Social Justice and Public Service hosted a discussion on law and current social policy in Charney Hall’s Panelli Moot Court Room. The discussion touched on LGBTQ+ rights and bodily autonomy. During this panel, we also had the distinction of hosting six amazing guest speakers, who lent their knowledge and expertise to our students. This incredible opportunity for our students underscores Santa Clara Law’s dedication to advocating for rights and the true spirit of justice.

Late October, during National Pro Bono Week the Center for Social Justice and Public Service once again demonstrated its commitment to educating our students with hands-on learning while contributing invaluably to the community. Over six days of events, the Center worked with three law departments and nine law student organizations to benefit four outside nonprofits and two internal organizations. Students collected hundreds of items and spent hundreds of hours volunteering. Our efforts at Second Harvest alone resulted in 15,700 pounds of food being sorted. Moments like this capture the essence of Santa Clara Law’s spirit of service; I have only the greatest gratitude and pride for the efforts of our students!

We also saw some old friends back on campus for Grand Reunion weekend! Charney Hall welcomed the return of over two hundred alumni, along with family and friends, for a Friday evening reception at Panetta Plaza. For the first time, we also hosted a lunchtime family picnic complete with a magician, so that the whole family could celebrate. After an alumni panel focusing on the impact of diversity in legal services, we also had a special ceremony to highlight the exceptional work of deans emeritae Lisa A. Kloppenberg and Anna M. Han. We had the privilege of unveiling their beautiful portraits, which commemorate the admirable impact they have left on our students and on our school.  

Judge Jeremy Fogel Professor Brad Joondeph Dean Michael Kaufman, and Joe Dibble, Senior Director, News and Public Relations at the Markkula Center for Applied EthicsOn October 27, the law school collaborated with the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to host a critically important and timely conversation about judicial ethics. Brad Joondeph, the Jerry A. Kasner Professor of Law, conducted an illuminating conversation with Jeremy Fogel, former United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California and Director of the Federal Judicial Center, about the ethical obligations governing the justices of the United States Supreme Court. During the panel, Professor Joondeph moderated questions and stimulated conversation between the assembled guests and Judge Fogel. Chiefly among the discussed topics was the Supreme Court’s lack of a formal code of conduct. “All of the courts in the country are having a crisis in confidence,” Judge Fogel said.

Looking forward, we will be hosting a conversation with and welcoming author Stephen B. Bright at Charney Hall on Wednesday, November 8th. The discussion will center around his new book, The Fear of Too Much Justice: Race, Poverty, and the Persistence of Inequality in the Criminal Courts. Join staff, students, faculty, and alumni for a critical look at the status of inequality in the criminal justice and death penalty system; lunch and light refreshments will be provided.

On a final note; as scholars of the law and practitioners of public service, it is our duty to stay aware of current events and the impact they can have on members of our community.  The terror, atrocities, and bloodshed in the Holy Land have caused unimaginable pain, grief, and loss to our Israeli and Palestinian sisters and brothers. I know that so many of us in our own law school community are suffering deeply, not only from the traumatic events in the Middle East, but also from the heinous anti-semitism, Islamophobia, blood libel, and hate-filled violence at home. The School of Law and the University have unequivocally condemned—much as how I will always unequivocally condemn—such abhorrent conduct. Please see the President’s message, which the law school strongly supports.

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,