Temple Law School was founded for the purpose of expanding access to the legal profession by offering an exceptional legal education to a diverse student body, a commitment that continues to form a central part of our identity today. One important component of our dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion is the recognition that we cannot rest on past accomplishments alone. We must center our commitment in the work we do today and the future we imagine for tomorrow.
These principles – equity, diversity, and inclusion – are goals toward which we strive, as well as values by which we operate. They animate our mission, shaping how we understand it and driving everything we do to pursue it. Together, they enlarge our perspectives as lawyers, scholars, and citizens, and by shaping how we learn, teach, and practice law, they enable us to offer a richer understanding of its promise and limitations to the legal profession itself.
These principles are ultimately about how we build and sustain a community of people who both celebrate difference and work toward a common purpose. To that end, over the past several years we have increased faculty diversity and welcomed incoming classes that have each included more than 30% students of color. We have made changes to our orientation and classroom practices to be more inclusive of people of all genders, and have worked to make our facilities more accessible to people with physical disabilities. While this work is never complete, we are proud of the community we are building together.
Commitment to community is one of Temple Law’s most cherished traditions, affirmed and reaffirmed by the care with which our faculty, staff, and students have worked to make us more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible. Recent efforts include creation of the Dean’s Advisory Council on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; appointment of Associate Dean Donald Harris as the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Liaison; and a significant number of other initiatives and changes.
In addition, Temple Law student organizations have made equity, diversity, and inclusion focal points of their programming and efforts, like SALSA’s Unity Day, BLSA’s Pursuit of Representation panel, and APALSA’s “Cracking the Bamboo Ceiling” career panel. The Temple Law Review has also recently celebrated the election of its first Black Editor-in-Chief, Kayla Martin, and is continuing efforts to increase diversity and inclusion on the journal.
We are at our best as a community when each individual is able to both contribute and benefit as their full, authentic self. We are at our best as an institution when we work to create more justice, more equity, and more equality in law and fact. Our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion at Temple Law School is made in service to these ends, because we believe it is our best hope for achieving them together.
Interim Dean, James E. Beasley Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Liaison
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and I. Herman Stern Research Professor