As this semester comes to a close and we enter this reflective time of year, I wish all of you a joyful holiday season. Thank you for your continued engagement and support for our legal education program. Our students continue to succeed in and out of the classroom. Our faculty continue to deliver rigorous and robust classroom experiences. Our alumni continue to leverage their legal education for the good of others. And our administrators and staff continue to provide a supportive context for all our stakeholders and constituents to thrive and flourish.
I am honored to serve as interim dean for the College of Law. I believe in the College of Law and the value it creates. I am proud of the difference it is making in the lives of many. We provide access and opportunity to those who seek the opportunity and responsibility to advocate for a just and inclusive world. While “justice” is somewhat of an elusive concept, we all acknowledge that it is at the foundation of a just and inclusive civic experience. It is critical that we remind ourselves that the practice of law is indeed an honorable profession. It is the lawyer who is often called upon to intercede on behalf of the oppressed, the disenfranchised, and the discarded. It is the lawyer who is empowered to advocate for access and dignity. It is the lawyer who swears an oath to defend our state and federal constitutions grounded on promises of equality of opportunity and due process for all. It is the lawyer who promotes and nurtures civility and integrated discourse. And most importantly, it is the lawyer who is often positioned to advocate for and even effectuate a better tomorrow. We do great work, and we create great social value. And I am grateful for being able to play a role in what we do.
The University of La Verne College of Law is a mission-driven institution, and my vision as the interim dean is that the College of Law remain true to its mission, that is, “to guide our students in the discovery of law and self as they prepare for the practice of law or other professional careers.” Our faculty of scholars and teachers is committed to creating an innovative, collaborative learning environment designed to develop the knowledge and skills relevant to achieving individual and professional success. Additionally, our mission encompasses educating and enhancing the professional lives of our local, regional, national, and international communities of stakeholders—students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, members of the bench and bar, and others who pursue social justice. We aspire to provide transformative opportunities to our students. When our students achieve the ultimate success of being able to enter the practice of law, they experience the transformative power of their legal education.
With the recent release of the California State July 2017 Bar Exam results, we can report that approximately 80 percent of our law school students who have graduated in the past five years have passed a bar exam and have been granted the opportunity to engage in and pursue a professional career in the practice of law. And while this data point indicates that we are indeed accomplishing our mission, we aspire to achieve more. Please know that the College of Law faculty and staff are forever committed to delivering a learning environment for our students that nurtures and promotes success for each and every one of our graduating students. It is in this context that the College of Law is advancing a comprehensive program review initiative designed to systematically and continuously assess our program of legal education with the intent of shining light on how we can continue to improve all aspects of the La Verne Law experience.
Let me close by reiterating my gratitude for being able to play a part in the advancement of our mission and aspirations. We are indeed an integrated team of administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners, each contributing to the other, and ultimately all contributing to the success of the whole, as we collectively play an integral role in shaping a better tomorrow.