Dear Newest Members of the Vanderbilt Community,
On behalf of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community, it is my privilege to welcome you to Vanderbilt Law School. We are all so happy that you are here.
Most of all, we are truly excited to see you join this warm and thriving community of people. You each bring a unique set of experiences, ideas, talent, passions, interests, and perspectives. As much as you will spend your time at VLS learning in the classroom, this community will also learn from you, who you are, what you have to say and how you interact and impact those around you. VLS is a school that prides itself deeply and fundamentally on its values of belonging, inclusivity, and civility. In short, you belong here. This is your school. We hope that you will soon come to see VLS as your home away from home. Those around you will play a key part in your law school experience and enable you to grow into your ambitions and the person you wish to be. Similarly, you will be a key part of the experiences of others, supporting and challenging your colleagues, staff, and faculty in ways that you can scarcely imagine today. This journey together is what makes VLS a special place – a law school that provides you with a first-rate education but within an environment that seeks to build you up through community, to support your ideas and growth and to push you toward achieving your vision for yourself in a way that is collegial, personalized, and welcoming.
DEC is here to support you and to ensure that you always feel like you belong – no matter what. You should not feel excluded, diminished or less-than for any reason whatsoever. Please know that my door is always open, and you are welcome to email and get in touch me should you ever have concerns, questions or wish to discuss new ideas about innovations for DEC. In addition, I would urge you to take a look at the Vanderbilt University resources listed below that provide a guide to different tools to support students from underrepresented communities.
As you settle into these first days at VLS, we know that things can feel daunting and exciting – often at the same time. Please know that you are not alone. This VLS community is now your community. We are beyond thrilled to welcome you into it and look forward to seeing you flourish as an essential part of it in this time we have ahead together.
With warmest congratulations and welcome,
Associate Dean and Robert Belton Director of Diversity, Equity and Community
Faculty Co-Director, LL.M. Program