Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Veröffentlicht am 06.12.2021

"The UC Davis School of Law is one of the most diverse in the US"

Associate Dean Beth Greenwood about the LL.M. at UCD and life in Davis, California

Beth Greenwood is the Associate Dean for International Programs and Director of LL.M. Programs at the UC Davis School of Law. As a UC Davis alumna and California Bar member, Dean Greenwood works with law schools from all over the world to increase diversity, equality, and inclusion both on campuses and in the legal field. 

Beth Greenwood
Beth Greenwood

Dean Greenwood, you are the Associate Dean of International Programs. What is your role in this position, how do you support foreign students, and what do you most value about working at UC Davis?

I am responsible for the International Law Programs, LL.M. program, Visiting Scholars program, Exchange programs, international conferences and global partnerships. I work with the Dean and law school faculty to connect the law school to the global community, focusing on education, research, and outreach.

We support our foreign students in many ways. First, we provide an outstanding educational experience for our foreign students based on the superb teaching of our excellent faculty scholars who genuinely care for and connect with our foreign students. Second, our students are integrated into our JD program so they have a full-immersion experience. And finally, our International Law team provides personal support at every stage of our students‘ experience at our law school. Our students and visiting scholars are our highest priority and everyone works to make sure their experience is a meaningful success and that they enjoy being an integral part of our law school community.

I feel honored to work at the UC Davis School of Law. UC Davis is one of the top public US research universities and the UC Davis School of Law is a top-tier US law school. In addition to the quality of the institution, I value its commitment to diversity – the UC Davis School of Law is one of the most diverse in the US – and the open dialogue that is encouraged in the law school, on the campus and in the community. It is an intellectually alive community.

The University of California, Davis School of Law is one of the world’s leading law schools. Which LL.M. programs and degrees does UC Davis offer to their students and what are the main points that the academic education focuses on?

We offer outstanding, customizable one- and two-year LL.M. programs for legal professionals from all over the world. Based on each student’s individual goals, we design a personalized educational program to ensure each unique student's success. Some students focus on basic US common law, others specialize in a specific subject such as business law, IP, environmental law, criminal law, and many other subjects, and still other students take classes to prepare them for a bar exam and become a practicing member of a U.S. bar.

We also offer specialized programs including English for Legal Professionals, Orientation in USA Law, and our Pre-Academic Program. Our focus is on providing our students with the skills and knowledge they seek through a superior educational experience, whether they are here for two weeks or two years.

The National Jurist magazine named UC Davis School of Law the No. 2 most diverse school in the country in 2019. Would you say UC Davis is a true pioneer in diversity, inclusion and equity and how have attitudes changed over the years in that regard?

The UC Davis School of Law's state-of-the-art campus building is named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of our most inspiring civil rights leaders. Reflecting his values and teachings, the UC Davis School of Law has created a law school that furthers his goals of justice and diversity. Dean Kevin Johnson, who has served as dean for almost 15 years, has provided the leadership for a constantly diversifying student body and faculty.

As an alum, I can say that UC Davis has been a pioneer in diversity. In the over 30 years that I have been at UC Davis, the campus and law school leadership has moved from simply speaking about diversity to making it a living priority for the administration, faculty, staff, and students.

At the School of Law, with the help of your majority minority faculty and diverse student body, you are actively striving to create a learning community that brings together a variety of people and ideas. What can you in your position, as well as the School of Law, do to advance this issue?

First, we encourage legal professionals from across the globe to come to our law school, because we believe our law school community is enriched by connecting culturally diverse students and scholars.

Second, we boast a robust intellectual environment that encourages our faculty and students to consider the complex issues impacting diversity, racism and inclusion through presentations and dialogues within our law school, and our international students are encouraged to bring their perspectives into those events.

Third, our faculty incorporates discussions about racism, diversity, and inclusion into the classroom so students understand how they impact and are reflected in the law. Also, we encourage our international students to join organizations and bring their perspectives and knowledge about their kome country legal systems into our law school community as a way of deepening the community perspective about diversity through a comparative lens.

Are UC Davis School of Law's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts also reflected in the proportions of diverse groups of students and the number of countries represented?

Yes! This year, the LL.M. program has 53 students from approximately 13 different countries and cultures. Moreover, this fall, in keeping with our leadership in the area of diversity, more than half of UC Davis School of Law students are students of color, 23% identify as LGBT, and 20% are first in their families to graduate from a university.

In addition, the UC Davis School of Law has one of the most diverse faculties in the US. Our law school truly reflects a diversified environment and we educate lawyers and legal professionals who carry those values with them as legal professionals throughout their legal careers. 

Student life at UC Davis is full of endless possibilities.

At UC Davis, there is also a Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In addition to promoting the goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, alumni, staff, and students in the law school, what are the committee's tasks and what does it stand for?

I am very excited to be a member of the School of Law Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This important law school committee is creating a short- and long-term strategy to institutionalize these values so that they become a permanent part of our law school culture, curriculum, and environment.

My goal is to integrate an international perspective into these discussions and long-term planning since diversity, equity and inclusion are global considerations and our international colleagues have much to contribute to making a more just global society. Creating a long-term strategy is very exciting and will leave a legacy for years to come. 

The law school is housed within “King Hall” on the UC Davis campus. Where does the building's name come from and are there any special events that the King Hall community celebrates and provides?

King Hall is named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a leading US civil rights leader. The law school was established in his honor after he died. His values permeate King Hall, his inspirational words are written on our walls, and his statute is at the entrance to our law school.

While we teach all aspects of law, one of our most important programs is our public interest program that trains lawyers to provide legal services for those who cannot afford them, reflecting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s values. We also celebrate his birthday every year by engaging faculty, alumni, and students in community volunteerism.

For example, one year on his birthday, we worked at a homeless shelter in a nearby community and during covid lockdown, the students held a blood drive in his name. The students are presently organizing an event for his upcoming birthday.

In 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked UC Davis School of Law #4 among public law schools awarding the most financial aid. Which kind of financial assistance are you providing and what are the requirements for students to apply for financial aid? 

The International Program offers both merit and need scholarships for LL.M. students. All LL.M. applicants are automatically considered for scholarships. Our team is delighted to speak with interested applicants and address concerns particular to their personal situations. Please contact us!

Mrs. Greenwood, what are, according to you, the big issues and challenges that Universities, especially Law Schools, face in terms of a non-discrimination policy nowadays?

Schools are challenged to ensure prospective students have full access to the university’s resources and have the best opportunity to achieve their personal and professional goals. The present generation of students is part of a diversified law school environment and their frontier is to carry that diversification into the courts, the judiciary, their legal practices, and all facets of the legal profession.

At UC Davis, we provide a highly supportive environment to ensure student success including our Academic Success program, First Generation Advocates mentoring program, specialized classes, and student led organizations. Our goal is to give students access to resources that will set them up for success in law school and as legal professionals making a difference in the world.

Our goal is to give students access to resources that will set them up for success in law school and as legal professionals making a difference in the world.
Beth Greenwood

What is the goal of UC Davis School of Law in terms of diversity, equality, and inclusion? Do you have a vision for the future?

We envision an ever-growing King Hall community where each part of the law school is welcoming and supportive of people with all kinds of backgrounds and committed to educating the broader community about diversity related issues. 

UC Davis is an hour away from the Bay Area and 15 minutes from California's state capital. What activities would you recommend to foreign students and is there a place or event in the city that you would like to highlight?

UC Davis is in an ideal location for both studying and exploring California. We take students on field trips to the California Legislature, the State and Federal Courts and Old Sacramento. 

We visit Coloma, the historic place where gold was first discovered, which helped to create the present California. Students have opportunities to explore the San Francisco Bay Area and walk on the Golden Gate Bridge.

We also go wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma Valleys, California’s world-famous wine region. Students also like to hike and ski at Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Davis is in an amazingly rich environment.

LL.M. students are fully integrated into J.D. classes. How does this influence the intellectual atmosphere and what are the advantages of First-Generation Advocates matching first-generation UC Davis Law students with faculty mentors?

LL.M. students enrich the school of law by taking classes with JD students. Everyone learns at a deeper level because our LL.M. students bring a unique perspective to their classes. Professors often call on them to share their comparative thoughts on legal issues. LL.M. students participate in the Big Sib/Little Sib mentoring program, join student organizations, and attend the presentations given at King Hall. They’re encouraged to give presentations on their legal systems. LL.M. students truly enrich our law school environment.

LL.M. students are very welcome to join First Generation Advocates. This program is a high priority for the university and gains tremendous support, allowing us to give talented students access to knowledge that can be difficult for them to find on their own. Our mentors include first generation faculty and guide students to success in the law school and legal environment. Both mentors and students are enriched through cross-cultural experiences. 

“Welcome to Davis, the Bicycle Capital!” How has Davis, both the city and the campus, earned the name Bicycle Capital of the U.S.? Would you say that it's one of the greenest universities in the world and that bicycling is a way of life at Davis?

Bicycling is a way of life for faculty and students alike and Davis, an environmentally small city. In the 1950s and 1960s, some of our faculty traveled abroad and realized the European usage of bikes would be efficient in Davis because Davis has wide streets and it’s not too big.

Davis subsequently became the first city in the U.S. to have official bike lanes. On 5,300 acres of land, UC Davis is the largest of the University of California’s ten campuses. There are 30,000 bicycle spots on the UC Davis campus!

Our land-grant university is on the Central Valley’s flat land, making bikes an ideal mode of transportation. There are bike paths throughout the campus and the city of Davis. We even have the Bicycle Hall of Fame in Davis, a bike historical museum with all kinds of bikes since their invention.

Besides the School of Law being well-known for its diversity, equality, and inclusion programs, what are the main benefits of studying abroad at UC Davis School of Law and graduating in the U.S. in your opinion? 

Students who study at UC Davis School of Law are welcomed into an environment where everyone is important. Besides an outstanding education, students receive individual attention from our faculty of outstanding researchers and scholars and individual support throughout their stay. 

Students who graduate from UC Davis School of Law are sent into the legal field connected to a global network of colleagues and alumni. All students develop an expertise that they take back to their home legal systems. For those practicing across borders, they are prepared with knowledge of at least two legal systems and skills and knowledge for global legal practice. Students also acquire specialized knowledge in a chosen area and a deep understanding of another legal system.

Some students go on to take a bar exam and become a member of a U.S. state bar and practice law. Of course, many students return to their countries, with skills that allow them to advance in their legal careers. Finally, all students appreciate the opportunity to participate in a rich cross-cultural experience.

UC Davis School of Law is a premiere public university in the United States. King Hall intentionally creates a diverse environment, providing people with exceptional opportunities found nowhere else, and provides ongoing personal support. By connecting people across the globe, UC Davis strives to contribute to the rule of law worldwide.

Thank you!