From the Dean

A New Chapter.

AS I WRITE, the fall semester is about to begin, at a moment when both Fordham Law School and New York City seem poised for a rebirth of sorts. After two years of pandemic-related restrictions and inestimable loss, a new kind of normal is returning to New York City, and to our Lincoln Center campus. In a way, you can’t really separate the two—New York City has always been the center of the legal profession, and its propulsive energy is built into Fordham Law School’s DNA.

But New York City’s influence stretches well past the city limits and across the globe, as does Fordham Law School’s. This issue celebrates the connection between the city we love and the school we love—highlighting the ideas, ideals, and leaders that are born and made here. Just as New York is integral to Fordham Law’s identity, our students and alumni have, in turn, made a significant mark on our city—and beyond. Wherever important things are happening, whether in the courtroom, the boardroom, or the halls of government, you’ll find Fordham lawyers contributing in ways that make the city and the world better. You’ll meet a few of these changemakers in these pages, starting with “Reset, Rebuild, Reinvent”. The story shines a light on the alumni and faculty who are rethinking that most New York of subjects—real estate—and how we can creatively adapt the physical landscape of our city to solve the affordable housing crisis that was laid bare and exacerbated by the pandemic.

The financial world is also undergoing a seismic shift, the city’s historic focus on Wall Street giving way to the new frontier of fintech. In The Future is Fintech, you’ll read about the Fordham Law alumni who are ahead of the curve in blockchain, crypto, and NFTs, many pivoting from traditional law careers to work at the fascinating and sometimes confounding intersection of finance and technology.

Both New York City and Fordham Law are indebted to the energy and ideas of our immigrants—those who come to the city and to our Lincoln Center campus from all corners of the globe with hopes for a better future. In All Rise, the Hon. Madeline Singas ’91, the daughter of Greek immigrants, talks about the path she took from a pizza shop in Queens to the highest court in New York state. You’ll also get a window into a new book by Jay Bergen ’62, about John Lennon, perhaps one of New York’s most celebrated transplants. His Own Write delivers the story of how Bergen shepherded the former Beatle to a legal victory that led to a new perspective and new phase in Bergen’s wide-ranging career.

Speaking of new phases, we also pay tribute to Father Joseph McShane, president of the University and a longtime champion of the Law School, who stepped down at the end of the 2021–2022 academic year. During his nearly two decades at the helm of the University, he helped raise the stature of the Law School to its current standing as a truly global institution, not least by spearheading the creation of our world-class campus at Lincoln Center. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for his Herculean work.

Additionally, in this issue we salute another Fordham fixture with a global vision: Assistant Dean Toni Jaeger-Fine, the architect of our international and non-J.D. programs. Toni will continue to make an impact on our programs and people in her reimagined role as senior counsel.

All endings inevitably lead to new beginnings, and this year, we welcome Tania Tetlow as the new president of Fordham University. President Tetlow comes to us from New Orleans, another incredibly diverse and culturally rich city, where she has been a transformative leader at Loyola University New Orleans and Tulane University. As a former law professor, clinic director, and assistant U.S. attorney, she has a deep background in the law and knows its power to change society for the better. We are excited to partner with her, building on our local and global traditions as we turn to the next chapter in the history of the University, the Law School, and our city.

Matthew Diller signature
Matthew Diller
Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law
A circular portrait headshot photograph of Matthew Diller smiling (Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law at Fordham)