Dean’s Letter: Embracing new heights of excellence - The University of Tulsa
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Dean’s Letter: Embracing new heights of excellence

Person leaning on railing
Oren Griffin, Dean

It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we usher in another exciting year at The University of Tulsa’s College of Law. As we reflect on our centennial year, which was marked by a series of impressive achievements and accolades, we are filled with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to carry forward our legacy of excellence in legal education.

We have hit the ground running this year. Our presence was felt at the recent Association of American Law Schools conference in Washington, D.C., held Jan. 3 – 6, where the theme of “Defending Democracy” was particularly relevant in this election year. Professors Janet Levit and Mimi Marton spoke on a panel about clinical legal education and the innovative work they’re doing regarding reproductive rights. We are always proud to support the work of our faculty who carry immense responsibility in shaping the future of law through thoughtful policy-making and experiential learning opportunities for our students.

The Public Defender Clinic now extends its practical legal training to include misdemeanor cases alongside felonies, offering students broader educational opportunities. This step advances our primary goal of enhancing student learning through practical experience, equipping them with the skills required to navigate the complexities of a legal career. Our clinic’s triumphs in decreasing incarceration rates in Oklahoma as well as their efforts to champion the rights of underserved communities is notable.

The college continues to be recognized by peer and industry publications and major media outlets. We are honored to have earned a spot on the National Jurist PreLaw Magazine’s honor roll lists for Best Law Schools for Native American Students and Best Law Buildings. Additionally, we were featured in Money Magazine’s prestigious list of Best Value Law Schools in the country.

We also congratulate Carol Thompson (JD ’08) and Elijah Johnson (JD ’20), two of our outstanding alumni recently featured as experts on two key topics facing the nation. Thompson contributed to a recent CBS News story by Norah O’Donnell about domestic violence issues plaguing the U.S. military. Johnson, director of the Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network, shared insight in the Tulsa World on the negative impact that removing policies like the 287(g) program could have on immigrant families.

As always, we are immensely proud of the work of faculty, students, and alumni of our college, which continues to thrive and grow year after year. Together, we will achieve even greater heights and make a profound impact.