Fordham Lawyer Magazine – Spring 2024

Fordham Lawyer Magazine - Spring 2024 logo
A Mind for the Law,
a Heart for Students,
and a Soul for Justice

The Legacy
of Dean

Rise of the Machines:
Fordham Law alumni
navigate the brave new
world of AI
Game Changer:
Jessica Berman ’02
leads the
National Women’s
Soccer League
Spring 2024
black downward arrow
Large crowd of students gathered on and around staircase to take a class picture


typographic logo with two corner border edges that surround the word FUTURE FORDHAM LAWYERS The classes of 2026 and 2027 gather for fall orientation and the beginning of their law school journey.
typographic logo with two corner border edges that surround the word

FUTURE FORDHAM LAWYERS The classes of 2026 and 2027 gather for fall orientation and the beginning of their law school journey.

Fordham Lawyer logo
Spring 2024
Spring 2024 issue snapshot collage of articles inside
During his nine years as dean, Matthew Diller has left an indelible imprint on Fordham Law School and reshaped legal education with a focus on the student experience
Rise of the Machines
Fordham Law alumni navigate the brave new world of AI
Game Changer
Jessica Berman ’02 leads the National Women’s Soccer League


Notable news from alumni
Students step up to help migrants find a better life
The Fordham Law community says goodbye to four esteemed faculty members
A personal tour of Tanya K. Hernández’s warm and inviting eighth-floor office
These students are making their mark at Fordham and beyond
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Fordham Law Annual Luncheon
Newsworthy events of the year
Judge Felipe Torres ’26: Pathbreaking public servant
Matthew Diller posing in front of a hallway of paintings
Photo by Chris Taggart
From the Dean

Passing the Torch

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since I joined Fordham Law as a junior member of the faculty. As I prepare to step down and return to teaching, my heart is full of gratitude for our outstanding community. Being a part of this institution has been a wonderful journey, and serving as dean has been a privilege and the high point of my career.

The Joys of Being Dean

The dean’s office provides a vantage point from which it is possible to see and appreciate all the elements that come together to make Fordham Law so special. Truly, the Law School is a shared project that has been nurtured over generations to create a culture that brings together care and concern for others with a commitment to rigor and excellence.

Our alumni are the bedrock of this community. Through their steadfast commitment to our mission, generosity with insights offered both to me and to our team of faculty and administrators, critically needed philanthropic support, and advocacy for our students and our school, our alumni have enabled us to build an institution that is responsive to the changing landscape of the legal profession and our world. This crucial support makes it possible for our students to launch successful careers and serve as leaders in addressing the challenges of our times. I am profoundly grateful for their collaborative spirit and deep dedication to Fordham Law over these many years.

THE Docket

News of note from Fordham Law alumni
Brian Koppelman holding and speaking into a microphone

Bringing an End to Billions


Brian Koppelman ’95 was an unlikely law student.

The co-creator and showrunner of Showtime drama Billions, which aired its finale in October 2023, had a successful music industry career when he enrolled at Fordham Law. After graduation, he put his skills to work writing screenplays and television scripts.

Legal themes feature prominently in Koppelman’s shows and movies, including the tense rivalry between a fictional U.S. attorney and a hedge fund manager on Billions. After seven seasons, Billions may be over, but viewers can look forward to more of Koppelman’s gripping narratives about money and power. He has hinted at a Billions Miami spin-off.

In the film Rounders, which Koppelman co-wrote soon after graduating, there’s a Fordham Law Easter egg many alums might recognize. Abe Petrovsky, the law professor who encourages the main character to pursue his dream of playing professional poker, was inspired by the late Fordham Law professor Abraham Abramovsky.

artistic collage of Dean Matthew Diller surrounded by life around Fordham Law
A Mind for the Law, a Heart for Students, and a Soul for Justice

The Legacy of
Dean Matthew Diller

“Empathetic.” “Nurturing.” “A mensch.” “A man of service.” These words come up again and again from Dean Matthew Diller’s colleagues, his former students, and Fordham Law alumni. During his nine years as dean, he has left an indelible imprint on the Law School by exemplifying a deep dedication to the idea that success as a lawyer means not just winning a case or negotiating a deal or even knowing the law inside out, but helping to create a more just world for everyone.
By Paula Derrow
Illustration by Franziska Barczyk

Illustrations by Mike Austin

Rise of the Machines

How AI is Reshaping the Legal Profession

Innovations in AI are transforming life as we know it, revolutionizing everything from the arts to manufacturing to the way business is done across industries. As Fordham Law alumni cautiously navigate this brave new world—embracing AI’s potential while girding against possible harms—faculty are gauging its impact and preparing students for a future that’s already here.

By Jenny Hontz

Commissioner Jessica Berman presents the MVP award to Margaret Purce of Gotham FC at the 2023 National Women's Soccer League championship game
Game Changer typography in white full caps

Game Changer

After breaking barriers as a woman executive in the world of men’s professional sports, Jessica Berman ’02 is bringing her business savvy—grounded in emotional intelligence and a deep commitment to ethics and integrity—to shape the future of women’s soccer.

By Pamela Kaufman

Above: Commissioner Jessica Berman ’02 presents the MVP award to Margaret Purce of Gotham FC at the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League championship game (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images).

IN OUR CORNER: Highlighting stories around access to justice and the A2J Initiative at Fordham Law School
bus with migrants at the Port Authority bus terminal
A busload of migrants who had been detained at the Texas border arrives at the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City. (Andrew Lichtenstein via Getty Images)
Feerick Center Executive Director Dora Galacatos with staff, student volunteers, and representatives
Feerick Center Executive Director Dora Galacatos ’96 (front row at left) is joined by Feerick Center staff, student volunteers, and representatives of partner organizations at a limited legal services clinic for asylum seekers held at Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx.
Hope Amid Crisis typography

Hope Amid Crisis

Fordham Law Steps Up to Help Migrants Find a Better Life
As refugees poured into New York City last fall and winter, Fordham Law faculty, students, and alumni sprang into action, providing desperately needed assistance, legal and otherwise, to asylum seekers.
By Julia Califano
line drawing portraits of Hugh Hansen, Mark R. Patterson, Martha Rayner, and Constantine N. “Gus” Katsoris

The End of an Era

The Fordham Law community is saying goodbye to four esteemed faculty members who have left an enduring impact on the institution through their outstanding contributions in teaching and scholarship. Professors Hugh Hansen, Constantine “Gus” Katsoris, Mark R. Patterson, and Martha Rayner were valued members of the faculty who positively influenced generations of law students. Combined, their service represents more than 150 years at Fordham Law. These professors are experts in the areas of patents, tax law, trusts and estates, intellectual property law, and criminal law. Through their books, articles, legal representation, and teaching, these four scholars have left an indelible imprint on the Law School community and beyond.
By Elizabeth Moore
Illustrations by Kathryn Rathke

Tanya K. Hernández

Tanya K. Hernández standing in her office
Photos by Chris Taggart
Tanya K. Hernández typography
If you didn’t know that Professor Tanya K. Hernández was an expert in antidiscrimination law and critical race theory, spending a few minutes inside her eighth-floor office would make it clear. Hernández, who became the Archibald R. Murray Chair in 2017 after teaching at George Washington, Rutgers, and St. John’s law schools, has made her cozy office into a showcase of what’s important to her. From books she’s authored to seminal works about the experiences of people of color to a portrait of a celebrated Afro–Puerto Rican baseball player, the office reflects her many interests and scholarship and is dotted with personal touches that make students and colleagues feel at home.

BY Elizabeth Moore

Future Fordham Lawyers

Making Their Mark

These law students are ready to create a real world impact in ways that make the Law School community, New York City, and the world better.
Lola Todman headshot

Lola Todman ’25

Amplifying Voices
In October 2023, I had the opportunity to publish an op-ed in the New York Law Journal on broadening the hiring criteria for legal jobs, which was an unexpected achievement that would not have been possible without the encouragement of my Professional Ethics professor, Bruce Green, who recognized the potential in what started out as a regular class assignment. There is no denying that law school is hard, and at a certain point, you must come to expect that it will stay that way. My favorite moments have been those I did not expect. The best experiences here and anywhere are the ones you never see coming.

Outside of the classroom, I have the great honor of serving as a representative on the Student Bar Association, most recently as an appointee to the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee. In this role I work closely with the deans and faculty on a variety of projects, allowing me to witness their genuine enthusiasm for enhancing the student experience. Most of all, I appreciate the opportunity to connect and confer with my incredible classmates as I strive to amplify their voices in the decision-making process.

a sepia toned picture of the Fordham Law Alumni Association at their Fordham Law Annual Luncheon in 1950


An Annual Tradition Every year, members of the Fordham Law Alumni Association (FLAA) eagerly anticipate the Fordham Law Annual Luncheon, where they gather together to honor their alma mater. This year marks a significant milestone as the FLAA commemorates the 75th anniversary of this celebration. The venue may have changed over the years, from the Hotel Commodore (now the Hyatt Grand Central New York) as pictured above in 1950, to Cipriani 42nd Street, but the spirit of camaraderie among alumni and dedication to Fordham Law remain as strong as ever.

Around the Law School

 Around the Law School
read the full stories and more at


New Faculty Bring Expertise in Tech and International Law

Harlan Cohen headshot
Harlan Grant Cohen
Professor of Law
Cohen’s work centers on international law, international trade, and global governance. Before joining Fordham Law, he held the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professorship in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law and served as a faculty co-director of the law school’s Dean Rusk International Law Center. Previously, Cohen worked at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and a member of the American Law Institute.
Aniket Kesari headshot
Aniket Kesari
Associate Professor of Law
Kesari, an expert on privacy and cybersecurity law, data science, and public policy, was previously a research fellow at the Information Law Institute at New York University. In addition, he was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley’s Social Science Data Lab and a visiting researcher at ETH Zurich’s Center for Law and Economics. He was also a Tech Policy Intern at GitHub, a Data Science for Social Good Fellow at the University of Chicago, and a Google Policy Fellow at Engine.
Chinmayi Sharma headshot
Chinmayi Sharma
Associate Professor of Law
Sharma’s research and teaching is focused on cybersecurity, surveillance, computer crime, torts, administrative law, and criminal law. She was previously a scholar in residence at the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law and a lecturer at the University of Texas School of Law. She is also a member of Foreign Policy for America, the open source working group at the Atlantic Council, the Transatlantic Cyber Forum, the young professional cohort at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Internet Law Foundry, and is a Yale Cyber Leadership Fellow.

Class Notes

January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023


James Badami was awarded the 2023 Distinguished Catholic Lawyer of the Year Award by the St. Thomas More Society of Arkansas.


Hon. Loretta Preska spoke about her career and the advice she gives to young lawyers in a recent interview with the New York Law Journal.


William Savino was selected to the 2023 New York Metro Super Lawyers list.


Michael Mitrione was named chairman of the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center Governing Board.
Portrait headshot photograph of Patrick Shilling grinning
Patrick Shilling was promoted to General Counsel Americas at UBS Group AG.

Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri was appointed the alternative asset manager chief operating officer of TPG Capital.


Joseb Gim was appointed the chief of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office criminal court unit.

Lori Harrison joined Proskauer Rose LLP as trademark counsel in the firm’s litigation department at its New York office.

Jeffrey H. Price was promoted to special counsel by firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.
Portrait headshot photograph of Joseph Rivera Jr. grinning
Joseph Rivera Jr. made partner in the New York office of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani as a member of the firm’s products and general liability practice group. He was also named to the 2023 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch list for product liability litigation-defendants.

Michael Sternheim made partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

Alumni of Distinction

Class of 1926

Felipe N. Torres

Public Servant
First Puerto Rican Judge on the New York State Family Court
First Puerto Rican Assemblyman Elected from the Bronx
Founding Member of the Harlem Lawyers Association (now known as the Metropolitan Black Bar Association)
Founding Member of the Puerto Rican Bar Association
sepia tone picture of Judge Felipe N. Torres in his robe

pathbreaking Afro-Latino leader and legal trailblazer, Felipe N. Torres led a life of “firsts.” He was born on a farm in 1897, in the town of Salinas on the island of Puerto Rico. A year later, during the Spanish-American War, the U.S. military invaded and occupied Puerto Rico, displacing Spain as the island’s colonial ruler. The American government instituted sweeping economic and political changes, including an official campaign of “Americanization” of Puerto Rican children. Torres was a member of the first generation to attend the newly constructed schools where English-only instruction was imposed. In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship under the Jones Act. After enlisting in the army and serving as a second lieutenant in World War I, Torres settled in New York City, becoming a pionero of the nascent Puerto Rican community.

Thank You, Dean Diller!

Dean Diller headshot
Celebrate Dean Diller’s Legacy
Join us in thanking Matthew Diller for all he has done during his tenure as dean by making a gift in his honor to the Fordham Law School Fund. Your support is not only a celebration of Dean Diller’s landmark accomplishments and lasting legacy, it is also an investment in Fordham Law School’s future. And be sure to leave a personal note of thanks for the dean when making your gift!

Visit, or call 212-636-6529 to make your gift today.

Welcoming the 12th Dean of Fordham Law School

Welcoming the 12th Dean of Fordham Law School
In February, Fordham University announced the appointment of Joseph Landau as dean of the Law School after an exhaustive national search. Landau joined the Fordham Law faculty in 2010 and currently serves as associate dean for academic affairs. “With an impressive scholarly record and professional background in corporate litigation, nonprofit board service, movement lawyering, and journalism, Dean Landau is well-positioned to lead our law school into the future,” said Tania Tetlow, president of Fordham University. Landau will begin his deanship on July 1, 2024.


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Matthew Diller
Editorial Board
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Assistant Dean, Fordham Law School, and AVP for External Relations, Fordham University

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Associate Dean for Research

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Director of Alumni Relations

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Creative Director
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Director, Communications and Marketing
Elizabeth Moore
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Thanks for reading our Spring 2024 issue!