Professor Armstrong with Santa Clara Law Colleagues at Berkeley Law’s LSAD 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony

Professor Armstrong with Santa Clara Law Colleagues at Berkeley Law’s LSAD 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony

Santa Clara Law’s Margalynne Armstrong, associate professor of law specializing in Constitutional Law, Property, and Race and Racism in the Law, was recently recognized by Berkeley Law’s Law Students of African Descent (LSAD). In attendance at their April 13th Legacy Gala and Alumni Reunion, Professor Armstrong was awarded the LSAD’s 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Armstrong, an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, spent a great deal of her time as a law student immersing herself in the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and the black community on campus. “Some of the most vivid and pleasant memories were some of the hours I spent in conversation in what was then the BLSA office,” Armstrong reminisced. “I particularly appreciated getting to know students who were a year or two ahead of me or who were from California and could enlighten me.”

Professor Armstrong also offered words of experience and advice at the Gala as the night’s keynote speaker. “The agenda is set for yourProfessor Armstrong after Receiving her Award generation’s work,” she encouraged. “Speak the truth. I hope that long before you reach my age, you will be able to say that everything you learned in Constitutional Law is wrong—because you changed it.”

She also touched on various current events and the role that law students, as future lawyers, can have in promoting fairness, equality, and justice. “I can only advise you that life is unpredictable, guarantee that politics are volatile, and remind you that people need to be shown respect and kindness to flourish,” Professor Armstrong explained. “These are insanely difficult times for so many people here and abroad, but you have shown how much you care about disrupting inequality and creating a better world.”

Traditional Nazar bracelet and knots

Photo credit: Naima Naz, Hour Voyses

Professor Armstrong concluded her remarks by handing out traditional Nazar bracelets and knots to ward off negativity and discouragement. “I want them to help you remember that there are people out there, including me, who may not know you personally but who love the very idea of you, Black law graduates studying to become members of the Bar,” Armstrong said. “We find hope in your potential, faith in the possibility that lawyers like you can move the world towards a fundamentally fairer future.”

See Professor Armstrong’s full profile here.