Fordham Lawyer logo
Illustration of digital education

The Future of Legal Education Is Here

Winter 2022
black downward arrow
Future Fordham lawyers on the first day of orientation, August 16, 2021
Future Fordham lawyers on the first day of orientation, August 16, 2021.
Photo by Chris Taggart
Fordham Lawyer red logo
Winter 2022

The Education Issue

The Education Issue
Educating Students for the Law—and for Life
Making Law School Possible for Every Type of Learner
illustration of man and woman holding balancing scale
No Longer the Onlys
Helping Students Find Their Voice
Fordham Law School is leading the way in sending out into the world not just the best prepared lawyers but ones who can truly flourish in their career—and feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled overall.
Meet the new, all-women team teaching what it really means to write, think, and problem-solve like a lawyer.
With the REAL Scholars program and IDEAL, the Law School’s newest diversity and anti-racism initiatives, Fordham is creating a model that can shape legal education and the legal profession to make both more just—and look more like America.
The seismic shifts fueled by the pandemic are affecting the way the law is practiced and how law students learn, find jobs, and kick-start new careers. Here’s what all lawyers need to know now—and what the future holds.
Stephen Cugliari believes that law school should be possible for every type of learner. Now, he’s doing his part to make that happen at Fordham Law by broadening the path to a legal career for students with learning differences and other disabilities.
Educating lawyers, then and now
Notable news from Fordham Law alumni
Fordham Law professors share the ideas and legal scholarship they’re most excited about now.
Two young alumnae are taking the lead for Fordham Law’s future.
Professor James Kainen goes the distance for his students.
Three student activists fighting the good fight
Faculty happenings, student wins, and the most newsworthy events of the year
These law students are making an impact on Fordham Law School’s campus, on social media, and beyond.
Fordham Law needs its alumni, now more than ever.
Professor Joseph Landau’s minivan adventure
The Docket
The Docket article snapshot
Big Ideas
In Their Element
A Course of Justice
Around the Law School article snapshot
#FutureFordhamLawyers Speak Up article snapshot
Have Minivan, Will Teach article snapshot
black and white vintage photo of students in classroom
large square table with students sitting and professor standing at projector
From the Dean

Educating Lawyers, Then and Now

A square portrait photograph of Matthew Diller smiling (Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law at Fordham)
If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that everything must change, including legal education. This issue explores both the subtle and seismic shifts wrought by the global pandemic; by the racial reckoning brought on, in part, by the murder of George Floyd and others; and by a changing sense of what it means to create a just world, to practice law, and to make a contribution to society.

When I was in law school 35 years ago, the education I received would not be considered sufficient in any American law school today. While my first-year curriculum was recognizable enough—focusing on the case study method, sharpening analytical skills, and teaching the fundamentals of how to write a brief—there is now broad recognition that those skills are far from enough in today’s world.

THE Docket

News of note from Fordham Law alumni
By Erin DeGregorio and Sejla Rizvic

There’s an App for That

When Andy Hinton ’89 began his law career, he started out in litigation, first at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, then as a U.S. assistant attorney for nearly a decade. It’s not that he yearned to be in the courtroom, he says. Mostly, he wasn’t quite sure what else lawyers did. “There were no lawyers
in my family,” says Hinton. “My experience of lawyers was, you know, Matlock and Perry Mason.”

Hinton, who eventually found his way to the world of corporate compliance at GE and Google, couldn’t have fore­seen that he would one day be involved in a tech platform to report workplace misconduct in a brand-new way.

Big Ideas

Big Ideas Typography
8 Fordham Law Professor headshots
8 Fordham Law Professor headshots
8 Fordham Law Professors Share the Ideas That Keep Them Up at Night—and Keep Them Passionate About the Possibilities of Legal Scholarship and Education
In a troubled world, making change requires thinking that is big, bold, and out of the box. That’s why we asked eight members of the Fordham Law faculty to share on video the big ideas that drive their work, how they can be used in our society today, and how legal scholarship can make a real impact. The topics are wide-ranging and include frontline workers’ rights; privacy and crime control; rethinking mutual fund voting; modernizing the constitution; the complexities of bias; the changing power dynamic between cities and states; the regulation of global trade and its relationship to migration; and combating inequalities in the nonprofit sector.

These conversations are important, because the law and legal scholarship play a critical role in helping all of us understand and address society’s most pressing issues, as well as identifying promising ways forward. To get in on the conversations, check out the topics on the next page.

The Education Issue

Educating Students for the Law— and for Life

By Ginny Graves
digital illustration of woman sitting at a desk and then climbing to a higher position
Fordham Law is not only preparing students to be the best lawyers possible. The big, bold goal is to give them the tools to flourish so that they succeed in their career—and are happier, healthier, and more fulfilled overall. Here’s how.
It’s no surprise that law school can be stressful, and not just during exams. “New law school students are bombarded with information, which creates confusion and can feel overwhelming,” says Linda Sugin, professor of law at Fordham Law. “Plus, the course load is challenging—no wonder they feel anxious, fearful, and disappointed. That’s why law schools need to do more to guide students to personally meaningful careers, help them develop strong connections, and equip them with the skills to thrive as lawyers in a fast-paced and demanding world.”

With these goals in mind, Professor Sugin spearheaded the creation of Fordham’s Office of Professionalism in 2017, shortly after becoming associate dean, putting the Law School at the forefront of a movement to expand the scope of professionalism education. Her goal: to fill in the gaps in traditional legal education and train students in historically neglected but essential capabilities. The Professionalism Office’s flagship programs focus on peer mentorship, student leadership, and community building.

The Education Issue

Helping Students Find Their Voice

By Marjorie Ingall
illustration of man on computer that has flowers and paper blooming out of it
Meet the all-women team bent on teaching Fordham Law students what it means to write, think, and problem-solve as lawyers—clearly, eloquently, and effectively.
The summer of 2021 marked a new direction for Fordham’s legal writing and lawyering programs. The two now sit under one umbrella, forming a new department staffed by a trio of new hires. Ilene Strauss, who oversees both programs at Fordham, and her colleagues Aysha Ames, director of legal writing, and Marta Ricardo, director of lawyering skills, have serious teaching chops and practice experience, as well as the connections to bring in adjuncts and lecturers from across the legal map: judges and legal aid attorneys, U.S. Attorneys, DAs, partners in New York City firms.

The group has been busily revamping the curricula, which help more than 900 students a year soup up their communication, analytical, research, and writing skills, so they can hit the ground running once they graduate. “The reorganization allows us to look at the Law School’s mandatory skills training holistically and make connections where they weren’t explicit before,” says Strauss.

The Education Issue

No Longer the Onlys

By Eugene Chow
Illustration of three diverse people holding hands and standing on a graduation cap

Two major initiatives, the REAL Scholars program and IDEAL, are meant to attract underrepresented students to the Law School and into the legal profession. With them, and other new programs, Fordham Law hopes to help shape a legal landscape that is more just and looks more like America.

When Rian Morrissey ’24 (evening) arrived at Fordham Law for his first class, he was disappointed to learn that he was the only Black man in his section, despite the fact that Fordham Law is one of the top five law schools enrolling Black men. To Morrissey, it was the kind of painful situation he has grown accustomed to.

“As I got older, there were fewer and fewer Black students in my classes,” Morrissey says. By the time he got to college, he was alone. “I’ve been [the only Black man in class] for years now, but it still hurts to see it and there’s still a level of frustration.”

Fordham Law has been working to ease that pain with several new programs meant to attract and welcome more underrepresented students. Yet too many law students of color across the country continue to find themselves the “onlys” in their sections—or one of just a few among a sea of white faces. “The American Bar Association did a [demographic] review of the legal profession and the numbers were quite abysmal,” says Kimathi Gordon-Somers, assistant dean of student affairs and diversity at Fordham Law.

The Education Issue

Practicing Law in a Post-Pandemic World

By Helene Stapinski
Virtual depositions and trials. Networking in pajamas (at least from the waist down). In just two years, the art and business of being a lawyer has changed unimaginably. Here, Fordham Law faculty and alumni talk about how lawyers and law students are all adapting—and what the future holds.
To Todd Melnick, director of the Fordham Law Library, the word zoom once meant the button he pushed to get close-up images on his computer screen or phone. Even as late as the first week of March, in 2020, Melnick, a clinical associate professor, had never even heard of Zoom, much less used it to have a video conference. Ironically, Fordham’s IT department had offered to teach professors and staff about remote technology months earlier, but no one was interested.

“Then COVID hit,” says Professor Melnick, shaking his head.

By the end of spring break, he and every other professor, student, and most of the 1.3 million lawyers in America had become Zoom experts. Not only did remote meetings and classes become the norm, but video depositions, telephonic bail hearings, virtual trials, and court proceedings swept into the practice of law—which, historically, is not a field known for its rapid adoption of technology.

The Education Issue

Making Law School Possible for Every Type of Learner

By Hallie Levine
Stephen Cugliari ’19
By Hallie Levine
Despite being diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, Stephen Cugliari ’19 got his law degree, landed his dream job, and took up auto racing on the side. Now, his generous gift to Fordham Law is helping others with learning differences and people with disabilities pursue their dreams of a legal career.

It didn’t seem as if law school would be in the cards for Stephen Cugliari, who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at age 5. “My family was absolutely whipsawed when I told them I wanted to apply—it’s the last option you’d expect for someone who has difficulty focusing,” recalls the 29-year-old.

“I was able to get through high school and even college, but law school was a whole different animal,” says Cugliari. “I had to focus for nearly two hours in lectures. I could barely concentrate for half that time, let alone take notes. Those things may come easily for some people, but it’s incredibly difficult for those of us with ADHD.”

Elizabeth Moore and Abigail Urquhart

The Duo Behind the Next Generation

The Duo
Behind the Next Generation
Elizabeth Moore ’18 and Abigail Urquhart ’14 are passionate about giving back. Here, the co-chairs of Fordham Law’s Next Generation Committee talk about what drives them to raise money for Fordham and the power of young alumni.
By Sheila Weller
When we picture major donors, whether to law schools or any organizations, we tend to think about people who are very far along in their career—and life. But that descriptor doesn’t fit Elizabeth Moore (above left), 30, and Abigail Urquhart, 33, who launched and now lead Fordham Law’s Next Gen Committee. Next Gen is an offshoot of Fordham Law School’s current Forward: Campaign for the Fordham Law Experience. The 10 to 15 alumni on the committee are engaging Fordham Law graduates from the last decade to become leaders in providing financial support so that Fordham Law can offer its students the best experience possible.
Professor James Kainen in his office
Professor James Kainen

Professor James Kainen

Though James Kainen has been teaching property and evidence at Fordham Law since 1989, his main contribution to the school, as he sees it, has been coaching hundreds of students to success in rigorous trial competitions around the country.

Not that he planned it that way.

“When I got here,” says Professor Kainen, who is the founder and chair of the Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center, “we didn’t have a trial advocacy competition program. The students were interested in competing and they kind of found me.” Kainen started out coaching one team; now, the school sends as many as 18 teams a year to competitions, including virtually during the pandemic. No wonder his office is filled with gifts, like a lighter inscribed with “Yoda” (left), one of the affectionate nicknames given to him by grateful students. “I guess that name’s because I’m the source of all wisdom?” he says, laughing. Here, Kainen tells the stories behind the photographs, art, and other objects, whether eclectic or kitschy, that populate his seventh-floor office.

—Paula Derrow

justice scale logo
In Our Corner
Highlighting stories around the A2J initiative at Fordham Law School

A Course of

These three Fordham Law students came to the Lincoln Center campus primed to fight the good fight, each in their own way. What they have in common: They are determined to make the world a more equitable place, one person at a time.
By Andrea King Collier
Anthony Damelio, Aswini “Winn” Periyasamy, and Lea Aftimos
From left: Anthony Damelio ’22, Aswini “Winn” Periyasamy ’22, and Lea Aftimos ’23.
Law students have a lot on their plate—classes, clinics, studying for the bar. You wouldn’t think that many would have time to volunteer, even casually, much less devote hours a week to helping the vulnerable and redressing injustices in our society. But making a difference in our world takes lawyers who are passionate about social justice, and Fordham Law is nurturing those lawyers. “Many of our students have already done work on the ground before they get here,” says Leah Horowitz, assistant dean of public interest and social justice initiatives. “We ask them why they want to do this work, then help them think it through so they can flesh things out for themselves.” But whatever students’ specific aims, “It’s always about justice,” says Horowitz. “How to focus on it and achieve it.”

The three students profiled on these pages, all Stein Scholars, are acquiring the legal skills to make an impact for the underserved, whether immigrants, workers, children, or anyone who is powerless. And while each one carved their own unique path in coming to Fordham, all are united in their goal of changing individual lives—and the world—for the better.

Around the Law School

 Around the Law School
read the full stories and more at
Judge Chin during the CJEC’s “Judges and Clerks’ Roles in the Courts: Perspectives from First-Generation Alumni” panel discussion
CJEC’s “Judges and Clerks’ Roles in the Courts: Perspectives from First-Generation Alumni” panel discussion
Judge Chin (top and above, far right) during the CJEC’s “Judges and Clerks’ Roles in the Courts: Perspectives from First-Generation Alumni” panel discussion.


Judge Denny Chin ’78 Becomes a Bigger Presence on Fordham’s Campus

Judge Denny Chin has been named the Lawrence W. Pierce ’51 Distinguished Jurist in Residence. While Judge Chin will continue to hear cases, write opinions, and participate in court, he will also spend more time with students and faculty on the Fordham Law campus. “I look forward to reflecting on various matters in the law,” Judge Chin says, “and to the chance to speak with [students] more informally, outside the classroom.”

On October 27, Judge Chin spoke at an event held by the Center for Judicial Events & Clerkships (CJEC) called “Judges and Clerks’ Roles in the Courts: Perspectives from First-Generation Alumni.” The panel discussion, part of the center’s first-generation initiative, was developed in partnership with the Fordham First Generation Students and included 10 first-generation Fordham Law alumni who are or were clerks.

Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Team 2022


A Big Win for the Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Team

Fordham Law’s Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Team won the Verdict National Trial Competition on October 18, when students (above, clockwise from top left) Dean Corrado ’22, Chehak Gogia ’22, Dominic Conoshenti ’22, and Julia Tedesco ’23 swept the competition after five undefeated trials. “Our average scores were off the charts,” says Adam Shlahet, director of the Moore Advocacy Center. “We’re really proud of how we did.”

Dispute Resolution Society Goes to the Nationals

Two teams from Fordham Law’s Dispute Resolution Society competed at this year’s virtual American Bar Association (ABA) Competitions in November, and in January, several Fordham Law students will be advancing to nationals for their respective practical skills competitions. Fordham Law also clinched the ABA Arbitration Regional Competition, besting 12 teams on a case that dealt with wills and trusts and elder law. The team will proceed to the national competition for domestic arbitration, which will take place in 2022. Fordham Law students also competed at the regional level of the 2022 ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition and are moving forward to nationals. “The Fordham teams met the challenge with competence and professionalism,” says Adjunct Professor Deborah Masucci, an expert in alternative dispute resolution and dispute management.

#FutureFordhamLawyers Speak Up

#FutureFordhamLawyers Speak Up typography
These law students are creating change on Fordham Law School’s campus, on social media, and beyond.

Jordan Adams ’22

Supporting Social Impact
As the Black Lives Matter movement unfolded last summer, my brother and I were searching for social impact initiatives to create lasting change. My late grandfather, a community and civil rights leader, had always stressed the importance of giving back and uplifting communities in need. To accomplish these goals, we joined the Social Justice League (SJL) and raised over $850,000 for the NAACP and the Legal Defense Fund, then pivoted the SJL into a social impact consulting firm. Currently, my brother and I are working with the SJL to put together an art show featuring independent minority artists in hopes of raising money for families in up-and-coming Brooklyn communities. A lot of law firms like to say, “We do pro bono, pro bono work is important to us,” but I think it’s more than just doing pro bono work. It’s about how that work impacts, improves, and continues to support the communities where we offer these legal services.
Jordan Adams sitting on stacked stone wall
Jordan Adams sitting on stacked stone wall

Jordan Adams ’22

Supporting Social Impact
As the Black Lives Matter movement unfolded last summer, my brother and I were searching for social impact initiatives to create lasting change. My late grandfather, a community and civil rights leader, had always stressed the importance of giving back and uplifting communities in need. To accomplish these goals, we joined the Social Justice League (SJL) and raised over $850,000 for the NAACP and the Legal Defense Fund, then pivoted the SJL into a social impact consulting firm. Currently, my brother and I are working with the SJL to put together an art show featuring independent minority artists in hopes of raising money for families in up-and-coming Brooklyn communities. A lot of law firms like to say, “We do pro bono, pro bono work is important to us,” but I think it’s more than just doing pro bono work. It’s about how that work impacts, improves, and continues to support the communities where we offer these legal services.

Letter from Fordham Law
Alumni Association President
Palmina M. Fava ’97

Palmina M. Fava Headshot
I am the first person in my family to become a lawyer, so, as a student at Fordham Law School, I needed a community to help me find my way.
Time and again, I found that community at Fordham, whether in the form of alumni who gave of their time to moot me as a Jessup competitor and to support all of our moot court teams when I was interschool editor, or classmates who helped me analyze cases when I struggled, or professors who so generously made themselves available outside of the classroom. Dean John Feerick offered perspective on the practice of law in a big firm; Professor Maria Marcus taught me to find my own voice as an advocate and inspired me to consider public service; and Professor Joel Reidenberg, whom I still blame for my lowest grade ever, helped me examine nuances in European Union data privacy laws years later, after I reached out to him as I was building a practice centered on global internal investigations. Every step I have taken in my career has been guided by a friend from Fordham Law who offered advice, made introductions, and encouraged me. Just as important, this community has celebrated my personal successes and embraced me during my darkest hours. Since walking through the doors of the old Law School building, I felt surrounded by family. What a gift that has been!

Class Notes


Headshot of Richard “Dick” Greenalch Sr.
Richard “Dick” Greenalch Sr. was honored by the Branford Veterans Parade Committee and the town of Branford, Connecticut, as grand marshal of the 2021 Branford Memorial Day Parade.

Ken Kunzman received an honorary doctorate from Seton Hall University.


Brian M. Nurse joined Cedar Fair Entertainment Company as executive vice president, chief legal officer, and secretary based in the Charlotte, North Carolina, office.

Eric W. Penzer was named to the 2021 New York Metro Super Lawyers list for estate and trust litigation and the 2022 Best Lawyers in America list.

Christopher William Rile joined the partnership of Sidley Austin LLP in the New York office.


Noa Baddish was named senior counsel of Proskauer Rose LLP in the New York office.

Michelle Genet Bernstein joined the partnership of Mark Migdal & Hayden in the Miami office.

Jeffrey Colt joined the Bronx District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney in the Alternatives to Incarceration Bureau.

A digital illustration created by Tom Bachtell showcasing Professor Joseph Landau in a minivan

Have Minivan, Will Teach

When Professor Joseph Landau and his family decided to relocate during the height of the pandemic, they found themselves without Wi-Fi. To reach his students, Landau came up with a novel solution.
By Paula Derrow | Illustration by Tom Bachtell

Like many parents, when the pandemic hit in March of 2020, Professor Joseph Landau, associate dean for academic affairs, and his husband found themselves suddenly confined at home in a New York City apartment with a highly energetic 2-year-old daughter. “School was closed, the playground was closed, and we needed to find a place where she could be outside,” says Professor Landau, who was teaching civil procedure to 1L students at the time.

That place turned out to be a 60-acre farm in a small town in North Carolina that had belonged to Landau’s late father-in-law. The couple bought a sight-unseen Chrysler Pacifica minivan, packed up their life, and hit the road. “We took everything we could think of, including our king-size bed, which we somehow fit on top of all the boxes,” says Landau. “Then we drove 12 hours through the night with our daughter—a city kid not used to cars—throwing up along the way. By the time we arrived, we were all exhausted.”

2022 Giving Day graphic with March 7 date

Mark your calendars!

Fordham Law Giving Day 2022 kicks off on Monday, March 7.

Join the more than 2,400 alumni, friends, faculty, and staff members who have participated in Giving Day over the past five years, helping to raise nearly $1 million and unlock over $368,000 in matching challenge funds.

Visit to learn more and watch your inbox for updates.

Can’t wait until March? Make your Giving Day gift today at

Joseph M. McShane, S.J. giving a thumbs up during a speech

A LEGACY OF TRANSFORMATION: Joseph M. McShane, S.J., who has led Fordham University for nearly two decades, announced in September that he will step down as president at the conclusion of the academic year, on June 30, 2022.

Father McShane fostered one of the most remarkable periods of sustained growth in the 180-year history of the school, including the dramatic transformation of the Fordham Law School building designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners seven years ago. The building is an architectural gem filled with faculty and students committed to learning, absorbing, and acting on Fordham’s motto: “In the service of others.”

Fordham Lawyer logo

Fordham Lawyer
Attn: Communications Office
Fordham Law School
150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023



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

Youngjae Lee
Associate Dean for Research

Elisa Douglas
Senior Director, Alumni Relations and Public Programming

Elizabeth McKeveny
Senior Director of Development Operations

Paula Derrow
Creative Director
Robert Yasharian
Senior Director, Communications and Marketing
Victoria Grantham
Fordham Lawyer logo
Thanks for reading our Winter 2022 issue!