Chancellor and Dean Faigman: We’re Excited to Kick Off the New Academic Year

UC Hastings Law Chancellor and Dean David L. Faigman sent the following message today to the campus community:

Dear UC Hastings Community,

Welcome, and welcome back, to campus! I hope you are all well and had a productive and enjoyable summer.

We are very excited to kick off the new academic year. We are thrilled to welcome back our returning students and want to extend an especially warm welcome to the JD class of 2022 and all of our new LLM and MSL students. There is much happening at our law school, and it is my honor and pleasure to give you a glimpse of the many goings-on.

As you have likely already noticed, your campus is changing dramatically day by day. For those returning from a summer away, you will see that our new academic building at 333 Golden Gate—connected to 200 McAllister by the new “Beach” (the Dining Commons patio/quad) and Skybridge—is well on its way to completion. We expect construction to be completed in early 2020, and hope to migrate most classes to the new building in the spring semester.

But there is more yet.

Over the summer, the sixth floor of 200 McAllister (i.e., Kane Hall) was completely transformed. In the coming weeks, it will house most of our centers, including the UCSF-UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science and Health Policy, the Center for Worklife Law, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and the Center for Innovation. Following their relocation, please head up there to visit old friends residing in a new neighborhood. There are also three new classrooms opening on the sixth floor, so many of you will have the chance to be there as a matter of course.

And there is still more.

The first floor of Kane Hall has already undergone some renovation and additional work will be done this fall. LexLab has a new home, albeit temporary for the next three years, just off the lobby. Beginning this August, we will start construction of two new large classrooms on the first floor, as well as the construction of a new home for the Admissions office, immediately off the back of Kane Hall’s lobby. We will also be constructing an all-gender bathroom on the first floor, across the hall from the new classrooms. This work is expected to be completed by March 2020.

Beyond the immediate construction of the new academic building at 333 Golden Gate and the substantial renovations of 200 McAllister, we have been working over the summer with our architects (Perkins & Will), developer (Greystar) and Contractor (Clark Construction) to design the new 198 McAllister building. As many of you know, the construction of 333 Golden Gate will permit us to replace Snodgrass Hall (i.e., 198 McAllister).

The current four-story building will be replaced with a fourteen-story building that will include three floors of academic space, which will house scholarly publications, a new auditorium space (replacing the LBM), a rebuilt Jane and Marvin Baxter Appellate Courtroom, the new Shanin Specter Trial Courtroom, new classrooms, and office space for LexLab, Moot Court and Legal Writing & Research, and the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. The new building will also have twelve floors of student housing, with approximately 650 units, ranging from efficiencies to two-bedrooms.

This spring, we will be dedicating the new 333 building and celebrating the history of, and imminent demise of, Snodgrass Hall. Indeed, please mark your calendars for Thursday, March 26, 2020. That afternoon, we will have dedication ceremonies on the new Beach and will then move to the old Beach for the FINAL BEER ON THE [OLD] BEACH. We have many special events planned, with a host of old friends joining us, for the celebration. (In fact, Hastings College of the Law was officially constituted on March 26, 1878, as the first law department of the then decade-old University of California system.)

We recognize that with all these wonderful developments comes a degree of noise, and that students may find some of the department and office moves taking place over the coming months a bit confusing. To address that head-on, we have created a MyHastings page on which you can find regular updates about construction and office moves. You can access that page here.

Of course, all of these improvements to the campus are designed to, and will, expand educational opportunities, available amenities, and the local, regional and national stature of UC Hastings Law. This institutional and curricular expansion is already well underway.

Over the last couple of years, we added LexLab and the Centers on Business Law and Tax Law to our already phenomenal array of institutes and centers, including the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution and the other centers listed above.

We expanded our experiential offerings, including a new corporate counsel externship program.

We invested considerable resources into expanding our support for students’ professional success, especially in regard to securing employment, and developed a wide assortment of initiatives to ensure success on the bar exam.

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group continues to work on initiatives to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community for our faculty, staff, and students.

We continue to make progress on our Strategic Plan 2025 and look forward to getting your input about our draft plan for the long-term vision of UC Hastings and how best to set our priorities and goals to accomplish that vision.

Indeed, this brief welcome can only scratch the surface of all of the work our dedicated staff and faculty are doing to create an extraordinary educational and professional experience for our very talented students. At UC Hastings Law, we are committed to your success. We aim to empower and enable you to identify the professional destination of your own choosing and then assist you however we can throughout the journey.

And as your Chancellor and Dean, I look forward to all the opportunities to get to know each of you better. Look out for information on new Office Hours that I plan to start in September. For interested 2Ls and 3Ls, I would like to announce a unique opportunity for a couple of students this fall. I will be working with Hastings General Counsel John DiPaolo and two outside attorneys on a brief involving an important state-wide issue. I am looking for two additional research assistants (I have two already onboard) interested in joining our team; each will receive two units of credit for this work. More details are available here under Student Employment.

I wish you all the very best for a successful and enriching academic year. And if I can be of any assistance along the way, please let me know.

Warm regards,
David Faigman