Dear Santa Clara Law Community,

Our fall semester is off to a strong start. We welcomed 246 remarkably talented and diverse new 1Ls to Santa Clara Law, including 34 students who comprise the inaugural class of our innovative hybrid part-time Flex J.D. program. True to its mission, this new program has brought to our law school community extraordinary working professionals from all walks of life, all parts of the country, and at every stage of their careers, who would not otherwise have been able to pursue a law degree. 

I am also proud to report that our incoming class includes an unprecedented number of first generation students (26%); the first cadre of students enrolled in our new, pathbreaking Public Interest J.D.; another growing cohort of sensational Tech Edge J.D. students; and a terrific group of international students who have joined us under the auspices of our renowned Center for Global Law and Policy. 

Our outstanding students have chosen to pursue their legal studies at Santa Clara Law because of our distinctive strengths: our vital social justice mission, inspired by our Jesuit tradition, which calls us to care deeply for each other and use our education in service to others; our stunning, state of the art Charney Hall, situated in a beautiful campus, in the world’s center of opportunity, and within a world-class university; our dedicated and caring faculty and staff; our innovative programs, and our life-changing clinics. 

However, foremost among our distinctive strengths that continue to attract our wonderful students is you–our loyal and engaged alumni, friends, and partners, who give of their time, talent, and treasure to support our students. When we reached out to you to share your time and expertise to mentor our students, you responded overwhelmingly! Because of you, our 1L and High Tech law students will benefit from the wisdom and counsel of more than 300 volunteer alumni mentors.

Last weekend, at the Celebration of Achievement awards event, we had the pleasure of recognizing the accomplishments of our distinguished alumni and friends who have gone above and beyond the call to service. With approximately 200 guests in attendance, we celebrated the following distinguished alumni and friends and noted with great gratitude their remarkable contributions to the law school community and the legal profession:

  • Paul Gentzkow: Amicus Award
  • Nicole Shanahan J.D. ‘14: Young Alumni Rising Star Award
  • Kenneth Manaster: Edwin J. Owens Lawyer of the Year Award
  • Rebecca “Beck” Sue Jones ‘83, J.D. ‘87: Alumni Special Achievement Award

On behalf of our entire Santa Clara Law community, I thank our awardees and each one of you from the bottom of my heart for providing our students with a transformative learning community built on an ethic of loving kindness. Through the examples that you set within and beyond the classroom, we have tremendous faith that our new students will join with our continuing students and our alumni in using their Santa Clara Law education to serve their clients and their communities with loving kindness. They will use their formidable talents to overcome the serious ongoing challenges to democracy and the rule of law that we are facing and build a more just, humane, and sustainable world for us all.   

As a blessed and beloved law school community, we have so much to be grateful for, and so much to look forward to in the year ahead.

With warm regards and tremendous gratitude,