Around the Law School

 Around the Law School
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Making History

Erika L. Moritsugu, Quyen L. Ta, Judge Denny Chin ’78, Kathy Hirata Chin, Professor Thomas Lee, John C. Yang, and Dean Diller
From left: Erika L. Moritsugu, Quyen L. Ta, Judge Denny Chin ’78, Kathy Hirata Chin, Professor Thomas Lee, John C. Yang, and Dean Diller

Center on Asian Americans and the Law Launches

In the fall of 2022, Fordham Law celebrated the formal launch of its Center on Asian Americans and the Law. Co-directed by Senior U.S. Circuit Court Judge Denny Chin ’78M, Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence, and Thomas H. Lee, Leitner Family Professor of International Law, the center is among the first in the country to focus on the intersection of the Asian American experience with legal studies. It functions as a hub and platform for interdisciplinary scholarship on issues of interest in these areas of study.

To celebrate the launch, Judge Chin and Professor Lee organized a substantive program titled “The Lost History of Asian Americans and U.S. Civil Rights Litigation: Lessons for Today.” Distinguished speakers at the event included Erika L. Moritsugu, deputy assistant and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander senior liaison to U.S. President Joe Biden; Quyen L. Ta, partner at King & Spalding; and John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

The center has many ongoing plans to further dialogue and collaborations both inside and outside the Law School, including hosting speaker panels, lectures, and reenactments; organizing research in the form of digital repositories and e-casebooks; and providing opportunities for students to get involved in its work.

Students of the new Global Anti-Racism Clinic with Zenande Booi, Professor Paolo Galizzi, Professor Gay McDougall, and Elisabeth Wickeri
Students of the new Global Anti-Racism Clinic with Zenande Booi, Professor Paolo Galizzi, Professor Gay McDougall, and Elisabeth Wickeri

First-of-its-Kind Global Anti-Racism
Clinic Launches

Fordham Law launched the Global Anti-Racism Clinic, one of the first of its kind in the country, this fall. A joint initiative of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice and the Center on Race, Law and Justice, the clinic engages students in projects that aim to challenge and redress racism, global discrimination, and inequality at the national, regional, and international levels. It is led by Zenande Booi, executive director of the Center on Race, Law and Justice; Professor Paolo Galizzi; Gay McDougall, member of the UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and distinguished scholar-in-residence at both the Center on Race, Law and Justice and the Leitner Center; and Elisabeth Wickeri, executive director of the Leitner Center.

In the clinic, students work with international and regional experts on cases and projects that make efforts to combat systemic racism in a range of contexts as well as support McDougall’s work at CERD. “The goal is to become a resource for institutional mechanisms as well as for individuals, communities, and activist organizations that wish to make use of them,” said Booi. “It’s especially exciting that our students will have an opportunity to work at the center of crucial global initiatives and efforts to fight racism.”


Constitutional Crisis Hotline Podcast Hits Streaming

Hosted by Professors Jed Shugerman and Julie Suk, Fordham Law’s new audio podcast, Constitutional Crisis Hotline, explores the roles lawyers, judges, and the Supreme Court play in maintaining constitutional democracy. Guests for the first season include legal luminaries such as journalist Dahlia Lithwick, historian Jill Lepore, and more.

Constitutional Crisis Hotline


Professor Eleanor Brown

Professor Eleanor Brown Joins the Faculty

A leading scholar of property, migration, globalization, development, and race and the law, Eleanor Brown joined the Fordham Law faculty this semester.

Before joining Fordham, Brown was professor of law and international affairs at Penn State Law, where she was awarded the Ona Judge Award for Human Rights by the university’s Human Rights Society, as well as a fellow at the Rock Ethics Institute. She has received fellowships from the New America Foundation, the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, and Harvard Law School, and has been a board member for several legal organizations. Before joining academia, she was a leader in the Caribbean business community, serving in numerous high-impact roles in both the public and private sectors.

Norrinda Brown Hayat

Norrinda Brown Hayat Joins Fordham as Housing Clinic Leader

Norrinda Brown Hayat, an expert on housing law with more than 15 years of experience, joined Fordham Law as a full-time faculty member and head of a new housing clinic.

Hayat comes to Fordham Law after working in private practice and at the Department of Justice before her pivot to housing advocacy and clinical work. Now Hayat brings her skills and knowledge to New York, a city at the forefront of housing issues in the United States.

“[New York City] is where these issues [of] rent control, affordability, mobility … are played out at the largest scale,” said Hayat. “That is exciting for me—to teach students in this environment.”

Amelia Martella ’07

Amelia Martella ’07 Becomes Corporate Law Center Executive Director

Amelia Martella, a member of the Class of 2007 with varied experience in corporate law, returns to her alma mater as the new executive director of the Corporate Law Center. Since starting in the role in September, Martella has been working alongside Professor Richard Squire, the center’s faculty director, to implement a new vision that will reinvigorate the center’s in-person events and programming.

“In Service of Others”

Alumni Honored at 2022 Feerick Center Awards

The Feerick Center for Social Justice honored alumni who uphold the promise of the Law School’s motto, “In the service of others” at its 2022 Awards & Benefit Reception. The honorees of the included Jennifer Jones Austin ’93, who received the Hon. Deborah A. Batts Life of Commitment Award; Bradley J. Butwin ’85 and Rafal Gawlowski ’00, who each received the Spirit of Service Award; Professor Gail D. Hollister ’70, who was honored posthumously with a new award created in her name, the Dedication to Excellence Award; and the New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation, Inc., which received the Champion of Justice Award, accepted by Laurie Berke-Weiss ’83.
alumni group photo
Laura Petty

Laura Petty ’21 Named a 2023 Skadden Fellow

Laura Petty ’21 was awarded a 2023 Skadden Foundation Fellowship, one of the most prestigious and competitive for early-career lawyers working in the public interest. Launched by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 1988, the program provides two-year-long fellowships to talented young lawyers who want to pursue public interest law on a full-time basis. For her fellowship, Petty will work at Advancement Project in Washington, D.C., beginning this upcoming fall.

New York Court of Appeals Associate Judge Madeline Singas


A Fireside Chat with New York Court of Appeals Associate Judge Madeline Singas ’91

The Center for Judicial Events & Clerkships, Office of the Dean, and Fordham Law Alumni Association welcomed New York Court of Appeals Associate Judge Madeline Singas ’91 to Fordham Law for a fireside chat with Dean Diller. Judge Singas—the fifth Fordham Law graduate to sit on the state’s highest court, the first Fordham Law woman, and the only graduate to serve in the role in the past 50 years—discussed her ascent to the bench.


Alumni Create Joseph Vitale Labor Fellowship

Marc A. Tenenbaum
Marc A. Tenenbaum
Joseph J. Vitale ’89
Joseph J. Vitale ’89

The brainchild of Sharon McCarthy ’89, former U.S. Congressman Tom Suozzi ’89, and Charles Virginia ’89, the new Joseph Vitale Labor Fellowship honors the late Marc A. Tenenbaum and Joseph J. Vitale ’89 by supporting students every summer in work on behalf of workers’ rights.

A beloved figure at Virginia & Ambinder, where he was named partner, Tenenbaum devoted his professional life to workers and handled many complex ERISA cases. Vitale worked at Cohen, Weiss and Simon for 31 years, where he was an advocate for unions and workers and represented clients in diverse industries, including the building trades, health care, transportation, postal services, and the moving and storage industry.


Fordham Law Celebrates First Alumni Dinner in Ghana

On July 22, Fordham Law held its first alumni dinner on African soil to celebrate the launch of the Africa Alumni Chapter of the Fordham Law Alumni Association—the first of its kind for any American law school.

With over 70 alumni and friends in attendance, the event was aimed at sharing ideas on advancing Fordham Law’s educational mission and strengthening Fordham’s network and ties on the continent.

Alumni Dinner in Ghana


Professor Bennett Capers

Professor Bennett Capers Named John D. Feerick Research Chair

An authority on issues at the intersection of race, gender, technology, and criminal justice, Professor Bennett Capers has been named the John D. Feerick Research Chair. The rotating position is awarded to a faculty member who has attained a high level of scholarly distinction, as demonstrated by their scholarly publications over the course of their career and the impact of their work on their respective fields.
Professor Benjamin Zipursky

Professor Benjamin Zipursky Receives 2023 William L. Prosser Award

Professor Benjamin Zipursky received this year’s William L. Prosser Award from the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Torts & Compensation Systems. The award recognizes the significant contributions of law teachers in scholarship, teaching, and service in the torts and compensation systems of law.

For the first time, the award was presented to two people—Zipursky and Harvard Law School Professor John C.P. Goldberg—who, together, pioneered Civil Recourse Theory in the late 1990s and early 2000s and have been listed as the most cited torts professors in the country.

Professor Gay McDougall

Professor Gay McDougall Wins Nelson Mandela Award at AALS

Gay McDougall, ​​distinguished scholar-in-residence at the Center for Race, Law and Justice and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, was presented with the inaugural Nelson Mandela Award from the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on International Human Rights. The award recognizes “an outstanding law teacher or teachers, or other individuals who, in the course of their career, have made an exceptional contribution to international human rights.”