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Image of Charney Hall from the front

Image of Charney Hall from the front

A Recognized Leader in Legal Education

PreLaw Magazine honors Santa Clara Law for its international prowess, diversity, and faith foundations.

Santa Clara University School of Law has long had a national reputation for excellence in the area of technology law—specialties like privacy, intellectual property, and internet. And it’s well-known for offering powerhouse programs for students of social justice and public interest; innocence project exonerations; and business and entrepreneurship law. 

Now, PreLaw Magazine, which reaches more than 45,000 prospective law students, spotlighted three other areas in which Santa Clara Law stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the most elite law schools in the nation: its international law program; its diversity of students; and its foundation as a faith-based university.

International Law. First, in a story entitled, “An Unexpected Leader in International Law,” the magazine gives Santa Clara Law one of only 13 A+ grades (out of more than 200 law schools) awarded for law schools with robust international law offerings. Santa Clara attained this elite status by having the most study-abroad locales of any law school; offering its International Human Rights Clinic, as well as providing three specializations for those seeking certificates in international law: public international law; international business; and comparative law.

The magazine notes that Santa Clara Law’s international program “rubs shoulders with schools such as Columbia Law School, Duke University, Georgetown University, University of Michigan, and UC Berkeley School of Law.” The article spotlights how Santa Clara Law was the first law school, in 1974, to offer a study-abroad program in Asia, and currently offers programs in Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Oxford, Munich, Geneva, The Hague, Vienna, and Costa Rica.

“In large part, Santa Clara’s success is due to our ability to access the the best of the global legal community,” said Philip Jimenez, professor of international law who helped establish and has directed many of Santa Clara Law’s international study-abroad programs. “From the very beginning of this venture, we're recognized the need to establish close working and personal relationships with globally celebrated scholars, universities, and institutions. As a result, our faculties abroad have included such luminaries as Yasuhei Taniguchi, former chair of the appellate body of the World Trade Organization; Song Sang Hyun, president of the International Criminal Court at the Hague; Siegfried Fina of the University of Vienna and acclaimed expert on EU law; and many others,” he said.

“Globally recognized law firms regularly invite our students to do externships in their offices to fully experience practice in the areas of public and private, international, intellectual property, admiralty, and others,” he added.

Diversity. PreLaw Magazine also included Santa Clara on its “honor roll” of schools for diversity, giving the school a grade of A- in their story on the Most Diverse Law Schools. Noting that most law schools aspire to have a faculty and student body that reflects the changing demographics of the nation, the magazine noted that schools that made the honor roll were determined by “evaluating the percentage of minority faculty members and the percentage of students in five racial groups and comparing those to national averages.” Santa Clara has a student body that is nearly half people of color, and nearly 1 in 5 faculty members is a person of color.

“Santa Clara has long had a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Margaret Russell, associate professor at Santa Clara Law, where she works with the University’s Center for Social Justice & Public Service, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and the Center for Multicultural Learning. “We are delighted to be on PreLaw Magazine’s ‘honor roll’ and we always strive to do better in our admission of students from underrepresented groups in the legal profession. Diversity benefits our entire community and makes for the richest of educational experiences: an honor in and of itself.”

Devout Foundation. The magazine, noting how many law students students appreciate the sense that their law school’s work is either grounded in religious belief or at least where their own views will be supported, ranked Santa Clara Law as the 9th most “devout Catholic law school.” The magazine noted Santa Clara Law’s Jesuit origins, and the fact that Santa Clara Law describes itself as striving “to enhance and deepen – not simply preserve – its religious character.”

“We are so proud to be recognized as one of PreLaw Magazine's top ten Catholic law schools for our dedication to Jesuit values; educating the whole person, innovating for the world, and opening doors to diverse students,” said Santa Clara Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. “This recognition is especially meaningful during this amazing moment of momentum for Santa Clara Law, as we’ve just dedicated our new building, Charney Hall, and are excited to be part of the University's new $1 billion campaign."