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Welcome from Your Caruso Law Faculty

A Letter from Professor Schultz

Congratulations on your admission to Pepperdine Caruso School of Law!

Professor Steven Schultz

I am writing to you on behalf of our faculty, who would join me in hoping that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. During these unprecedented times, decisions about whether and where to attend law school are particularly sensitive. I hope this letter provides you with useful information to consider as part of your decision-making process, including how you will be cared for if you decide to join our community. Having served on the law school's admissions committee for well over a decade, I know that you possess outstanding credentials and that we would be fortunate if you decide to attend Pepperdine for your legal studies.

Intentional Focus on Our Students' Well-being

Like other law schools, we are proud of the many practical experiences we offer our students, from clinical programs to certificate programs to experiential opportunities. We are also similarly proud of our faculty's academic engagement nationally, from the placement of their law review articles to their national blogging presence to their frequent speaking engagements. What I want to focus on in this letter, however, is what I believe sets Pepperdine apart from other law schools – the intentional and paramount focus on our students' development and well-being.

Each year, the Princeton Review publishes rankings based solely on current law students' experiences at their respective schools. In short, the rankings endeavor to numerically express student satisfaction. We are very proud that, for most of the past ten plus years, Pepperdine consistently ranked in the top ten nationally in the "Best Faculty" category, which assesses both classroom teaching and faculty accessibility. As you know, you will spend a lot of time in the next three years actively studying the law. I hope you will not find it presumptuous if I suggest that an important consideration should be your anticipated personal experience with your individual professors.

Not only will our professors work tirelessly to enhance your educational experience, but they will take great pride and joy in getting to know you. Although we are encouraged to get to know our students, we do not need the encouragement. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than interacting with my students. Whether we are debating the law, talking about students' career aspirations, or simply chatting about life, I cherish my time with my students. Although it required more effort because of the online format of our classes, I still feel as though I got to know my 100-plus fall semester students. Quite simply, like my faculty colleagues, I am passionate about my students as people, and I love to share in their professional successes and personal life milestones. In the latter regard, my wife Lucy and I have happily attended many student weddings, graduation parties, and bar admission parties. We have also welcomed many students into our home, as have my colleagues. At Pepperdine, we will care for you as a person, in addition to pushing you to be the best law student you can be.

A Diverse Community Empowered to Serve

Like other law schools, we have been actively engaged in trying to make our students' experience as meaningful as possible in the face of the pandemic. However, the pandemic is not the only challenge our law school has overcome recently. As you may know (and may have personally experienced), devastating fires hit our area at the end of 2019, forcing the closure of our law school for two weeks. The way in which our law school community rallied to support each other during that difficult period, just as it has throughout the pandemic, makes me proud. During the late 2019 fires, administrators, faculty, and students immediately opened their homes to each other so that no one would be without shelter, meals, and comfort. Likewise, students who were displaced or lost personal effects were inundated with offers of clothing, transportation, gift certificates, and the like. Additionally, with final exams looming, students and faculty reached out to affected students to offer books, notes, outlines, and time so that students would be adequately prepared for their exams. At the same time, our law school immediately launched clinics to help those in the larger community in need of fire-related legal services.

I have often said that the ability to overcome adversity is a key attribute for a successful attorney. Our students' response to the challenges created by the fire reinforced what I have long known – that Pepperdine-trained students are particularly well equipped to handle the rigors and discipline of practicing law.

I want to close this letter by sharing a very personal comment about my experience at Pepperdine. I am not a Christian and I did not know much about Pepperdine when I started here well over 15 years ago. What I have experienced throughout my time here is something I believe is sorely lacking in much of society today, a place in which people of diverse racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, and political backgrounds respectfully (indeed, happily) interact. Quite simply, diversity is cherished here. For me, that was made abundantly plain when I was asked a few years ago to serve as Dean of Students; it simply did not matter that I was not a Christian. As another example of the diversity you will find at Pepperdine, in a voluntary survey we make available to our incoming students each year, we repeatedly learn that our students are equally spread politically among those who identify as conservatives, as moderates, and as liberals. Whatever your background and beliefs, you will be respected and welcomed warmly as a member of our community.

I hope you choose to join us at Pepperdine Caruso Law. It would be an honor to have you as a student and to get to know you personally. If I can be of help to you in any way, please feel free to contact me at (310) 506-6906 or at steven.schultz2@pepperdine.edu. I would be happy to visit with you via Zoom if you can tolerate yet another Zoom event. Wherever you decide to attend law school, I wish you a happy and successful career. In the short term, I wish you and your loved one's good health, peace, and comfort.


Steven Schultz
Assistant Professor of Law

Pepperdine University
Caruso School of Law
+1 (310) 506-6906