In July, 2021, Michael J. Kaufman became the Dean and Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law. Prior to joining Santa Clara University, Dean Kaufman served as Dean of Loyola University Chicago School of Law for five years and as associate dean for academic affairs for 11 years. He also served as Loyola University Chicago’s Acting Provost and Chief Academic Officer, leading the University’s academic vision and inclusive strategic planning process.
Dean Kaufman helped strengthen several critical areas, including the diversity of students, faculty, and administrative team; bar exam passage rates; employment outcomes; student academic credentials; academic reputation, and national rankings. He founded Loyola’s Rodin Center for Social Justice, Education Law and Policy Institute, Rule of Law Institute, and Institute for Investor Protection. In addition, he expanded access to educational opportunities for students and developed a law school curriculum around experiential learning, relationship-building skills, professional-identity formation, implicit-bias prevention, and perspectives on law and justice. Dean Kaufman also developed Loyola Chicago Law School’s innovative and popular hybrid Weekend JD program.
Dean Kaufman is a beloved teacher and distinguished scholar who has published more than 30 books and numerous law review articles in three key areas: education law, equity, policy, and pedagogy; securities regulation and litigation; and civil procedure and dispute resolution.
His research in education law, policy, equity, and pedagogy inspired him to found Loyola’s Education Law and Policy Institute, which conducts research, conferences, comprehensive academic programs, direct representation, and advocacy dedicated to enhancing educational access and equity. The Institute has developed particular expertise and experience in racial equity, special education, school discipline reform, early childhood education, and anti-bullying.
A dedicated and award-winning public servant, Kaufman was elected three times to serve on the Board of Education for a diverse K-12 school district in the Chicago area. As the Board’s president, he led multiple stakeholders in a community-wide strategic planning process; helped to consolidate and integrate racially segregated neighboring school districts; worked for the educational best interest of all students, and managed multi-million dollar budgets with transparency.
Kaufman has served as a public arbitrator for securities matters, as well as an expert consultant for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. He also has delivered bar examination review lectures to hundreds of thousands of law school graduates for bar exams throughout the country, including in California.
He clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and practiced civil rights law and securities litigation at a large private firm in Chicago.
J.D., University of Michigan Law School
B.A., Kenyon College