Dean’s Message: At this very difficult time

From: Dean Erwin Chemerinsky
Date: October 10, 2023

Dear Law School Community,

I have been horrified to watch the terrorist attack on Israel that has claimed so many lives and put so many in danger. I am heartbroken to see the carnage and to think of those taken as hostages. Many in our community have family, friends, and loved ones in the Middle East. I hope I speak for our entire community in wishing them safety and in hoping for peace. I express my deepest sympathy for those who have lost loved ones. 

As dean, I, of course, am also concerned for what this will mean for our community. As I wrote last year, we obviously are not going to resolve the issues of the Middle East at Berkeley Law or on this campus. But what we can control is how we act and speak with one another. My plea is that we take care at this difficult time to treat each other with respect, kindness, and compassion. I hope as we choose to speak we keep in mind that some in our community have lost loved ones or feel great anxiety for their safety.

If you find it would be helpful to talk to someone, there are resources for students, staff, and faculty. Students can contact Linda Zaruba (call 510-326-1267) or a counselor at the Tang Center. Staff and faculty can find support through the Employee Assistance Program.  I know that instructors will be supportive of students who are struggling in these difficult times. If you are a student who needs assistance, please reach out to Chelsea Yuan ( as she can answer your questions about classroom accommodations.

With best wishes,

Erwin Chemerinsky

Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley School of Law


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