Dear NYLS Community,
I hope you are safe and well. Today was an historic one for our nation and the world with the election of former Vice President Joe Biden as President, and Senator Kamala Harris as Vice President, the first woman and person of color to serve in that Office. As we prepare for a transfer of power, and to move forward together towards America’s immense promise, I hope you all have had a chance to reflect on the state of our democracy, the role of our School, and your responsibilities as members of the profession.
Regardless of one’s politics, race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, status as a veteran, economic status, or level of education, the rule of law is our common denominator. While we have seen horrific instances in our nation’s near 250-year history of how the law has been used to divide us, we also know how the law can and should be used to unite and empower us. You are here because the world needs advocates who are committed to the rule of law, who understand global complexities, who have empathy and respect for the aspirations of human dignity and for the value of the democratic institutions that govern and shape our lives. These themes are central to our conversations at NYLS, to American legal education in general, and the foundation for lifelong learning as lawyers and as citizens of the world. Indeed, your law school training has prepared you for this moment.
Just as we did four years ago, New York Law School will lead and help our society grapple with change and chart a path forward. And, just as our community is led by principles of truthfulness, integrity, transparency, accountability, and a reliance on facts and those with expertise, we will continue to hold those who lead our nation to the same standards.
Please know the years ahead of us will be hard, especially with the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the struggle for racial and social justice, and the challenges of a global economic recession. But, remember, our profession is one of service to others. Because we will be courageous, and because we will work hard to demonstrate our own resilience and that of our law school, we will be ready and able to serve others in great need in our city, nation, and world. I am extraordinarily proud of all of you, of your priorities and values, of your ability to solve problems, and of your respect for one another and commitment to come together, no matter what we confront. In short, I am deeply honored to be your Dean.
Please continue to take care of yourselves, your families, and each other. Be good and kind to one another, and never hesitate to reach out to me or any member of our faculty, staff, alumni, or your fellow students if you need us.
All my best,