Thomas Jefferson School of Law is strongly committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone is valued and supported so that everyone has the opportunity to thrive. The Law School respects all types of diversity and also recognizes the particular history of traditionally marginalized groups.
One of the reasons we have such a dynamic and vibrant law school community is that we are tremendously diverse. As of today, students of color make up nearly 60% of our student body, and more than 50% of our students are women. We come from many different cultures and regions. We identify with many different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and religions. We have had a wide range of life experiences. The discussions and relationships that spring from bringing such diverse perspectives together in one place, where important issues in law and society are discussed every day, enrich us all in lasting ways. This is one of the reasons the Law School’s mission includes providing an outstanding legal education for a diverse student body. Learning from and working with others from a rich array of different backgrounds is critical to becoming an effective lawyer in an increasingly globalized society.
As we pursue this mission, we expect all Law School community members to embrace inclusion and help to promote an environment of mutual respect.
The study of law, particularly in a time of growing divisions across the country, benefits from a truly collegial and supportive environment, where all types of diversity are embraced and welcomed. Diversity, of course, includes many dimensions: race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, religion, ancestry, age, marital status, veteran status, disability and more. The Law School strives to be a place where all types of diversity are respected, and discrimination on these bases is not tolerated. Diversity is only the first step: to truly create a community, we must be inclusive as well.
The Law School’s policies against discrimination and harassment (found in the Student Handbook) play important roles, but nothing is as important as the effort of all members of the community to cultivate an inclusive mindset and to be accepting of all backgrounds and life experiences. The Law School invites all community members with concerns or ideas for fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment to contact Interim Dean Linda Keller, Interim President Karin Sherr, Associate Dean Anders Kaye, Assistant Dean Lisa Ferreira, or Professor Rebecca Lee, currently serving as Diversity Coordinator.
The Thomas Jefferson School of Law faculty has unanimously endorsed the San Diego County Bar Association’s Diversity Pledge.