McGeorge School of Law

Message from the Dean

Dean Schwartz sitting

A message from Dean Schwartz

Happy Holidays from McGeorge School of Law! 

I have now been dean of your law school for a year and a half, and I am as passionate as ever about building on McGeorge’s greatness and leading McGeorge to an exciting future. The faculty and I are committed to making sure every McGeorge student receives a high-quality legal education. We need to develop and deliver programs and courses grounded in modern brain science and designed to prepare students to be ethical, skilled, professional, and creative lawyers, the kind of lawyers you want to hire and the kind of lawyers that clients want to retain.

We made great progress in 2018. In 2018, among other things, McGeorge:

  • became only the sixth law school in the country to guarantee (and require) every student two clinic or externship experiences;
  • created a required alumni-student mentoring program (for which more than 200 of you have volunteered);
  • developed and offered an innovative Accelerated Honors JD degree that allows students to graduate in five semesters;
  • opened one of the first Centers for Inclusion and Diversity to be housed in a law school;
  • enrolled our most highly-credentialed class in five years and enjoyed our highest job placement rate in five years;
  • received, for our clinics, the Sacramento County 2018 Heroes of Human Service Award;
  • won two honors, in diversity and in education, from the Council on Legal Education; and
  • created three online (non-JD) degree programs to be launched in fall 2019.

There is a lot more to do, and we can only get there in partnership with our alumni. I am therefore enormously grateful to those of you who have chosen to share your time and treasure with the law school.

Your gifts have been transformative. With your support, we have been able to send our moot court, mock trial, negotiation, and client counseling teams to a wide variety of national and international competitions. Their many success (in the last six months alone) include winning the national and international American Bar Association negotiations competitions, winning an invite-only mock trial competition (and one of our students winning best advocate), and winning best brief, best oralist, and first place in the west regional of a national moot court competition (for the second year in a row!).

Likewise, with your support, in 2018, we have been able to offer more scholarships to prospective students than we ever have, which helped the law school attract our impressive fall 2018 entering class.

Your support also can help us attract and retain outstanding faculty. In the past eighteen months, we received funding that allowed us to create a professorship to honor alumna Carol Olson. The inaugural Carol Olson International Law Professorship was awarded to McGeorge Professor Stephen McCaffrey, who, in the past two years, was named the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and won the 2018 Distinguished Elizabeth Haub Award for Environmental Law and Diplomacy.  We also received a gift from the family of alumnus Kyriakos Tsakopolous, allowing the law school to honor our longest-serving faculty member, Associate Justice (retired) Anthony M. Kennedy, by creating a faculty chair.    

Finally, alumni support allowed the law school to offer a lecture focusing on the legal implications of alleged and alleging “fake news”, a symposium focusing on foreign interference in elections, and “Justices on Justice,” a comparative constitutionalism discussion among Justice Kennedy, a retired justice of the California Supreme Court, a justice of the Austrian Supreme Court (who is also a former Vice Chancellor of Austria), and a justice of the European Court of Human Rights.

During this season of giving, I hope you will join me and the alumni colleagues whose gifts have made a difference by supporting your law school this year. Remember that most gifts of $50,000 or more are matched, dollar for dollar, by the University of the Pacific’s Powell Fund.

On behalf of our students, faculty, and staff, thank you for the time, energy, and the financial support you devote to McGeorge. I wish each of you a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous New Year.

— Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz