Dear Members of the Santa Clara Law Community,

 We are so grateful for the measures taken by the University, the county, and our own community that have enabled us to resume a near fully in-person law school experience, one that serves our deep human need for inclusion and interconnectedness. 

During our Law School Convocation and Inaugural Breaking-Bread professional formation dinner in the orientation week leading up to the start of classes, we enthusiastically welcomed our newest 1L’s into the Santa Clara Law community. Following a wonderful welcome from Santa Clara University’s new President, Dr. Julie Sullivan, law alumnus, Michael Schulman J.D ‘76, offered additional inspiration as he shared the professional path his Santa Clara Law degree facilitated, rising to his current role as CEO of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. The distinguished speakers addressing the incoming class also included, Judge Risë Pichon ‘73, J.D. ‘76,  who administered the solemn Oath of Professionalism, and Father Robert Scholla S.J., who acknowledged the land on which our beautiful campus is located and blessed the evening in the school’s Jesuit, Catholic tradition. 

I am pleased to report that our incoming class is an impressive group of 205 highly-credentialed and diverse students. The median LSAT has now risen to 158, where it was at 155 just a few years ago. The average GPA sits at 3.42, representing a .10 jump from 2018. At the same time, we remain one of the most diverse law schools in the country, with 57% identifying as students of color and 22% identifying as first generation students. We aspire to keep making progress across all of these areas while also increasing access to a Santa Clara Law education by securing resources to provide additional financial assistance to our students. 

We are also celebrating the national contributions that our faculty and alumni are making to the field of tax and estate planning. The renowned 18th Annual Jerry A. Kasner Estate Planning Symposium is returning live to the Santa Clara County Convention Center on September 8-9, 2022 with participation among registrants and sponsors approaching all-time highs. The conference has grown to become one of the top practitioner’s estate planning symposiums on the West Coast. A special thank you to Professor Brad Joondeph, who currently serves as our distinguished Jerry A. Kasner Professor of Law. 

Last year, we adopted a theme of Rising Together to illustrate our collective ascension from the depths of the pandemic, along with our shared aspirations to grow in our understanding of one another as a community committed to working for a more just, humane, and sustainable world. This year, we will continue to rise together in partnership with President Sullivan and the broader university community, making sure that we lift each other up as we climb. Together, we will continue to live out our Jesuit, Catholic mission, embrace our enduring values, and build upon our distinctive strengths. Recognizing the instrumental role our alumni play in helping us to rise, I invite you to join us on Friday, October 7, 2022, for the Law School’s Reunion. With over 130 guests already registered, Panetta Plaza will be packed, and it will be a gathering you won’t want to miss. 

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,

Michael J. Kaufman