UCLA Law’s Office for Student Affairs came under new leadership in January when Bayrex Martí, a deeply experienced leader in working with and promoting the success of students in law schools nationwide, joined as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. He manages the department that works closely with the dean and faculty on all aspects of student accomplishment and wellness, provides counseling on academic and personal matters to individual students, supports and guides the school’s 61 student organizations and 15 journals, and coordinates a wide range of student activities.
Most recently the Assistant Dean for Student Life at the University of Michigan Law School, Martí arrived at UCLA Law during a moment of unprecedented and unexpected challenge, mere months before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cessation of in-person activities and an understandable rise in concern among many students.
With his student affairs team and in collaboration with other UCLA Law administrators and staff, Martí swiftly responded. Among dozens of thoughtfully produced initiatives, he promoted efforts to check in and help students who were most acutely impacted by the pandemic’s economic and social disruptions, organized a series of small-group Zoom conversations on matters ranging from literature to new hobbies, helped oversee an elaborate and successful virtual commencement ceremony in May, managed several weeks of J.D. orientation and pre-orientation programs, and remained in constant, upbeat contact with a student body that numbers close to 1,000.
“My first few months at UCLA Law certainly weren’t anything that I – or anybody – could have expected, but I’m so proud of the work that we all did in collaborating to make these stressful times more manageable for our terrific students and recent graduates,” Martí says. “The pandemic and its impact may be with us for a while longer, but I’m excited to see how our community will continue to respond to this challenge with creativity, flexibility and empathy. Working through this unbelievable moment, I can already tell what a special place UCLA Law is – and I can’t wait to spend more time with our students in person when it’s all over.”
Martí has held top administrative positions in admissions, financial aid and student life at three distinguished law schools. In addition to his leadership at the University of Michigan, he spent five years as Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law and five years as Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Martí earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. in political science, summa cum laude, from the University of Puerto Rico.