A Message from the Dean

A Message from the Dean

Dean Michael Waterstone

Diversity and inclusion are core values at Loyola Law School. These commitments animate everything we do, from how we teach, to what our community looks like, to the difference we strive to make in the world. The study and practice of law involves not just understanding but being able to articulate divergent arguments. A variety of experience and worldviews is essential to this common endeavor. And we cannot engage the role of law in combating inequality without acknowledging and grappling with discrimination against marginalized groups.

Our community reflects the amazing and pluralistic city we call home: Los Angeles. We have one of the most uniquely diverse student bodies in the nation: people of color, first-generation professionals, immigrants, students with disabilities, second career professionals, and people of gender and sexual diversity. Our students come from 331 different cities, 28 states, and 16 countries. Nearly half of our faculty are women, and people of color are well represented. Moreover, Loyola is proud that people of diverse identities are included at all levels of faculty and administrative leadership. Our Associate Dean for Advancement, Associate Dean for Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning , Associate Dean for Faculty, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs & Strategic Initiatives, Senior Assistant Dean for Admissions & Enrollment, Senior Assistant Dean for Student Services, and the chairs of the Task Force on Public Interest programming are all women of color, from a range of different backgrounds.

Our First to Go program welcomes not only students but their families to participate in this journey. Almost half of our student groups are affinity groups. With our Student Bar Association, they host numerous events celebrating their unique experiences and perspectives, including our annual Diversity and Inclusion Week, and the Black Law Student Association and La Raza de Loyola Admitted Student Welcome Day. For Loyola, it is not just about diversity in numbers but celebrating the gift that our diverse community is on all levels.

Our mission statement provides that we should always “provide opportunities for legal education to the poor, the underprivileged, women and minorities. Loyola Law School has a long-standing commitment to diversity .. and recognizes its moral and ethical obligation to provide opportunities for a quality legal education to qualified applicants of diverse backgrounds, interests and professional objectives.” This commitment has been part of our DNA from the beginning: for example, women featured in Loyola’s very first graduating class, and the first Latina to pass the California State Bar was a Loyola alum. We take pride in what our students and graduates have accomplished in the generations since. But know there is so much more to do, and we stand ready to move forward in our constant pursuit of diversity and inclusion.

Michael Waterstone
Fritz B. Burns Dean, Loyola Law School
Senior Vice President, Loyola Marymount University