Around the Law School

 Around the Law School
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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.
Visiting Professor Jurij Toplak teaching a class


Slovenia President Visits Fordham Law School

Last fall, Visiting Professor Jurij Toplak, who is from Slovenia and a law professor at the University of Maribor and Alma Mater Europaea, invited Slovenia’s President Borut Pahor (above right) to the Law School as a guest speaker. President Pahor was in town for the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly, and given his experience in Slovenian government over the past three decades, Professor Toplak thought he was the perfect person to discuss election law.

“It is not only important to hear what lawyers think about electoral reforms and their roles in elections, but also what politicians think about it and what their experiences are,” Toplak says.


Elliot Jackson wearing a maroon shirt and a white suit jacket

When Fashion Law Meets Social Justice

While in line to go inside a Las Vegas nightclub with a group of friends in 2018, Elliot Jackson LL.M. ’22 was told that the Nike Air Jordans he had paired with his formal jacket and shirt were not permitted inside the nightclub. “That prompted my research on the intersection of fashion and social justice,” says Jackson, who found that there was at least one bar, restaurant, or nightclub in each state that practiced “velvet rope racism” or racially biased dress code restrictions. “These are the subtle undertones that are present when it comes to fashion intersecting with just everyday living,” he says. Now an LL.M. student in Fordham’s Fashion Law program, Jackson has a paper on the history of fashion discrimination forthcoming in the Southern Journal of Policy & Justice.
The Next Step: Prioritizing Equity and Recovery in NYC High School Admissions Cover


A Call for Greater Equity in Admissions Methods

In November, the Feerick Center for Social Justice released The Next Step: Prioritizing Equity and Recovery in NYC High School Admissions, urging New York City to implement urgently needed reforms to desegregate middle and high school admissions. (Currently, New York City lags behind other major cities in this area.) The Next Step provides the NYC Department of Education with a policy roadmap and calls for substantial reforms that can be implemented now. It also offers building blocks for a more level playing field in the future. The Feerick Center marks its 15th anniversary this year as a force, among other things, to expand and promote educational equality.
Fordham Law Dean Emeritus and Norris Professor of Law John D. Feerick

A Well-Lived Life

Dean Emeritus and Norris Professor of Law John D. Feerick ’61 received the New York Bar Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award on January 27, 2022. The award is given annually to a fellow of the Bar who demonstrates outstanding professional achievement, dedication to the legal profession, exemplary service to the public good, and commitment to the Bar Foundation’s ideals.
Leadership Academy for Women in Law Banner 2021


Rising Up: Women Becoming Leaders in the Law

On September 24, 2021, Fordham Law launched its inaugural Leadership Academy for Women in Law: RISE—Resilient, Inspired, Strategic, Empowered, an eight-week-long online program designed to empower women working in law to pursue leadership positions. The program explored strategies that women can use to enhance their careers. As Dean Matthew Diller noted, the majority of incoming law students nationally today are women—in 2020 that number was 54 percent, up dramatically from 3.5 percent in 1960. And yet, leadership positions at law firms are still heavily dominated by men.
Cristel Taveras and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Making RBG Proud

In October, Cristel Taveras, FCLC ’14, LAW ’25, became a member of the inaugural class of scholars in the When There Are Nine Scholarship Project, so named because of a response Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave in 2015 when people asked her when there would be “enough” women serving on the Supreme Court. “When there are nine,” she replied nonchalantly. The program aims to honor Ginsburg’s legacy by expanding career opportunities for women in the law and promoting equity and diversity in the legal profession. “As a former paralegal of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, I am in many ways inspired by the creativity of her legal mind,” explains Taveras, “particularly her occasional and clever use of male plaintiffs in equal protection cases to demonstrate that sex-based distinctions harm men and women.”
Professor Courtney Cox smiling with a black suit jacket on


Professor Courtney Cox on Lying in Law

Professor Courtney Cox received an honorable mention from the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in its 36th Annual AALS Scholarly Papers Competition. Her paper, “Legitimizing Lies” (forthcoming in The George Washington Law Review), shows how the law sometimes accepts lies as a legitimate option for fulfilling legal requirements—and may even require lies in increasingly common circumstances.


Professor of Law; Faculty Director, Feerick Center for Social Justice

Fordham Law Students Helped Pass Bill to Protect Consumers in Debt

Fordham Law students in the Legislative and Policy Advocacy Clinic were key players in urging the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass the 2021 Fair Consumer Judgment Interest Rate bill. In a video about the accomplishment Clinic Director and Professor Elizabeth Cooper talks about how, three years ago, in conjunction with the organizations Mobilization for Justice and The Legal Aid Society, as well as the Feerick Center, they began working toward lowering the statutory judgment interest rate—onerous interest rates of 9 percent demanded of individuals in debt. Thanks in part to clinic students who sharpened their advocacy skills talking to community members and legislators about the burden these interest rates placed on low-income New Yorkers, the statutory judgment interest rate is now 2 percent. “I feel fortunate to be able to work with these students and to do right by the people of the state of New York,” Professor Cooper says.
Public Service Day at Fordham Law School


Fordham Law Students Give Back

Public Service Day returned to Fordham Law School this year as an in-person event, with 200-plus incoming students working on 10 different projects with 11 Fordham Law student groups, including delivering meals to the elderly (above), cleaning up local parks, and preparing backpacks full of supplies for children living in homeless or domestic violence shelters. This was a record number of students, according to Assistant Dean for Public Interest and Social Justice Initiatives Leah Horowitz. “It’s inspiring to see them doing important work that serves people in need and is part of our effort to address racial and social injustice,” notes Horowitz.


Fighting for Asian Rights

Last fall, more than 40 volunteers, many from Fordham Law’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, hit the pavement to provide low-income Asian American residents and small business owners with information on how to access the Asian American Bar Association’s pro bono legal clinic and other resources to address housing issues, anti-Asian violence, and the impact of COVID-19. Students translated more than 1,000 flyers from English to Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, traversing Manhattan’s Chinatown and Koreatown as well as Brooklyn’s Chinatown in Sunset Park and Bensonhurst to distribute them.

“So many people in these communities want legal services and simply don’t know where to turn,” said Melissa Dzenis-Garcia ’23, president of APALSA at Fordham Law. “It’s a small lift to help direct them.”

Shaquan Huntt smiling with a suit on


Alumni Spotlight: Shaquan Huntt ’20 to Work in Governor’s Office

Shaquan Huntt ’20 has been awarded the Carey Gabay Fellowship, a paid two-year, full-time legal fellowship program created in honor of Carey Gabay, a former assistant counsel in the Governor’s Office and first deputy counsel to Empire State Development, who was killed in 2015 by an act of gun violence.