Just before Christmas, our faculty and staff gathered at the Law School for a holiday party. It was an uplifting celebration of community and fellowship—the bonds that we’ve created through our shared mission of serving our students. It was also a celebration of endurance as we marked the end of a semester that (finally!) was not materially disrupted by COVID.
With pandemic’s upheaval behind us, I’m happy to report that St. John’s Law is thriving. In the past 12 months, we’ve added a host of new administrators—in the Library, Enrollment, Career Development, Advancement, and more. We’ve also added nine new faculty members as part of an important generational shift that is positioning the Law School for the future. In addition, four longtime members of our community have taken on important leadership positions:
- Rachel Smith, who was recently named the Mary C. Daly Professor of Legal Writing, has become our new Vice Dean for Student Success (succeeding Sarah Jean Kelly, who has become the University’s Vice President for Student Success
- Christine Lazaro, who runs our in-house Securities Arbitration Clinic, will become Vice Dean for Academic Affairs this summer (succeeding Mike Perino, who has been outstanding in that role for the past six years and who will become our Associate Dean for Strategy
- Trent Anderson, who had been our Associate Dean for Marketing and Communications, has taken on an expanded role as Associate Dean for Enrollment and External Relations, assuming responsibility for our J.D. and LL.M. recruitment and admission
- Rosa Castello, who has been a member of the faculty since 2010, has taken on the role of Assistant Dean for Assessment.
While welcoming all that change, I’m equally happy to share that our students remain as wonderful as ever. Hailing from across the country and around the world, the most recent entering class boasts the highest median LSAT and GPA in our history. Out of the group, 99 students are bilingual, 86 identify as students of color, and 21 students identify as LGBTQ, with many more identifying as allies. Our recent graduates are also excelling, with an employment rate that is, once again, over 90%. And our bar passage rate continues to be well above the statewide and national averages.
As we start the Spring 2023 semester, the Law School is better positioned now than it’s been in years to meet the challenges and rise to the opportunities ahead. And, with alumni worldwide as vital partners in alma mater’s success, we have much to celebrate.
Happy New Year!