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Dean’s Message - Fall 2023

Dean Jenn Photo

Dear College of Law Alumni,

Welcome to the new academic year. Even though I have worked in law schools for over 30 years (and have been a dean for 15 years of those years), the beginning of every year fills me with great hope and anticipation about what is possible in the year ahead. That hope and joy are always inspired by our students (especially our first-year students) who are so enthusiastic and ready to learn. Our 166 first-year JD students (142 full-time, 24 part-time) come to the "start line" of their law school career with the highest academic profile that we have seen in 10 years, but they are so much more than their academic potential. As faculty, staff, and alumni, it is our responsibility to make sure that they realize their potential and make it to the "finish line" strongly, passing the bar and securing a satisfying, full-time job as a lawyer.

As part of that support for our student's success, we are kicking off this year with an initiative for alumni to contribute directly to these efforts, the "Take Us to the Finish Line – Fund for Law Challenge." If 40 donors make a gift to Fund for Law before Oct. 4, $10,000 will be matched by an anonymous donor. Donations made as part of this challenge will go to fund critical "finish line" needs such as bar preparation tools and career development/networking activities. I know I can count on many of you to help our students finish strong! You will hear more about this challenge soon, as well as at the Annual Fall Alumni Reception on Sept. 27 at the Tortoise Supper Club. I look forward to seeing many of you there and honoring our accomplished awardees The Honorable Thomas M. Durkin (Distinguished Alumnus Award), Samantha M. Odyniec (Outstanding Service to the DePaul Community Award) and Tiffani E. Mims (Outstanding Young Alumna Award).

There is new excitement at the university around Designing DePaul, which is the framework for ensuring that DePaul is a model of higher education. This year, in parallel and integrated with university-wide efforts, we will be Designing DePaul Law and looking to building our bright future as well. Now is the time. In addition to student success, which will always be our north stars, we will be building on our great strengths as Chicago's law school and visualizing our future: through our academic programs, our programs of excellence, our physical spaces and the engagement of our incredible alumni network.

There is so much to be proud of and look forward to and hope you will come along with me and be a part this ambitious time at DePaul Law!

See you on Sept. 27!

Dean Jenn