A message from the deans: UW Law is proud to celebrate the successes of Black lawyers and students

Dear UW Law Community:

UW Law is proud to honor Black History Month. Black history is central to American and human history and to the foundations upon which legal practice and education in this country were built.

This month affords us an opportunity to reflect upon and explore Black stories, lives and achievements that have shaped our laws and society. Here are some places where you could begin that exploration:

Black legal scholars, Black lawyers, Black students and allies — at this law school and across the country — have dedicated enormous energy to exposing racist legal structures. Equally important, these activists are leading efforts to redefine law and legal education in a way that centers the lived experience of people of color. Thanks to their sustained efforts, our profession and our pedagogy are evolving.

But this work belongs to all of us. We bear joint responsibility for making large and small decisions that will bring about a fairer and more just world.

At UW Law, as the result of the efforts of many, many people, we have changed the first-year curriculum, created a Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Multiculturalism and Antiracism, and agreed upon Community Norms for engaging in the difficult conversations that result when we acknowledge the ubiquitous impact of racism on our past and our present.

We need to maintain this momentum. We hope that you, as a new generation of lawyers and legal professionals , will integrate antiracism into your work as advisors, litigators, government attorneys, administrators, policymakers and judges. You will also have influence in many other less formal spaces — PTAs, volunteer organizations and social clubs. In all these spaces, your voice matters. We must all uphold and promote the rule of law; that law should combat, and not reinforce, racism and structural inequality.

The UW Law community celebrates the successes that Black lawyers, legal professionals and law students have effected and continue to bring about. We are inspired by their commitment and their contributions.


Interim Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law

Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Law