If it’s true that character is most vividly revealed during times of adversity, then Berkeley Law is even more amazing than I previously thought. That’s saying something, because every year I’ve taught here has increased my level of appreciation for our faculty, our students, our staff, and our alumni.
This is not a letter I expected to write. The circumstances that led to my appointment as interim dean were jarring, to say the least. But Berkeley Law has always been bigger than any individual, and our community has always banded together during difficult times. Since Dean Choudhry resigned in March, so many people have stepped up to help us move forward— not merely in getting back to normal, but in creating a healthier environment for everyone who works and studies at Berkeley Law.
Our annual Admitted Students Weekend began two days after the news broke, and mere hours after Dean Choudhry resigned. We were all understandably worried about how this news would affect our prospective students’ perception of the school. But we chose to be open and authentic with our young visitors about our situation, and their response was overwhelmingly positive.
Many of them expressed appreciation for our close-knit community, our solidarity in a time of incredible difficulty, and our resilience in the face of adversity. Many also marveled at the obvious pride that our students, faculty, and alumni have for the school and its unique community. I have never been prouder to be a part of Berkeley Law.
Our school is known for its collegial culture. Most of the time, that culture is a pleasant reminder of the high quality of life we enjoy here. But it’s also a welcome source of comfort and inspiration during times of distress. In these challenging moments, I have been so grateful to be a member of this incredible community.
The way you reached out and helped us rally together was extraordinary— yet utterly predictable. For this community, remarkable is the norm. As interim dean, I am looking forward to working with all of you to help this inspiring school become better than it’s ever been. If you have questions, concerns, or other feedback, I hope you’ll contact me directly. I look forward to hearing from you.
Interim Dean, Professor of Law