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Law Clinics at Fordham Law
Working with real clients to make an impact
The client’s case looked bleak. She and her lawyer had brought a pregnancy discrimination claim in to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and it was dismissed. But a team of Fordham students participating in the Law School’s Federal Litigation Clinic took on the case, advocated for their client, and claimed victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in her favor. “Nervousness suddenly hit me as I walked up to the podium,” says Jessica Engle ’19, who was responsible for arguing the case before the Second Circuit. “But my team had done a great job of helping me prepare, so I knew exactly what I wanted to say in response to each question I received,” says Engle, who went on to work for the New York City Law Department, Special Federal Litigation, as assistant corporation counsel.

That level of preparation is typical of the training at Fordham Law’s 18 live-client clinics. For over 30 years, they have shared a common mission: to give students direct responsibility for real issues that affect real people. Working for Lincoln Square Legal Services (housed on the Law School’s 9th floor), students learn how to argue—and win. They represent clients in various venues, including federal appellate court.

“It felt like a job, not like a class.
Now we can use these skills
when we start working.”
In 2019, for instance, a group of Fordham Law students and clinic professors helped change an important amendment to a New York State tax law. The law had mandated that an individual’s driver’s license could be suspended if they owed $10,000 or more in state tax debt. For three years, the students lobbied the state legislature to include a hardship exemption for low-income New Yorkers, working through Fordham Law’s Poverty, Tax, and Justice Clinic and its Legislative and Policy Advocacy Clinic. The new amendment, included in the 2020 New York State Budget, will allow low-income taxpayers to challenge license suspensions. “I never imagined we would have such an impact on something that I previously thought was so out of reach for students to be able to do,” reflected Gabrielle Kornblau ’19, who is an associate at Kirkland & Ellis. “It felt like a job, not like a class. Now we can use these skills when we start working.”
Fordham Law students and clinic professors in office
These Fordham Law students and clinic professors helped change an important amendment to a New York State tax law.
Clinical Quick Facts
  • Fordham Law’s Dispute Resolution Program is ranked 13th by the 2021 U.S. News & World Report.
  • Fordham Law’s Clinical Training Program is ranked 17th by the 2021 U.S. News & World Report.
  • Each year, nearly 600 students participate in Fordham’s live-client clinics and simulation courses. Our students argue in the Second Circuit—and they win.
  • In 2019, students in the Legislative and Policy Advocacy and Federal Tax clinics, led by Professor Elizabeth Cooper, worked together to change a New York State tax law that unfairly affected the state’s poor residents.
  • In 2020, students in the Federal Litigation Clinic had the rare opportunity to argue
    an appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
18 Live-Client Clinics
  • Community Economic Development
  • Consumer Litigation
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Criminal Defense
  • Democracy and the Constitution
  • Entrepreneurial Law
  • Family Advocacy
  • Federal Litigation
  • Federal Tax
  • Immigrant Rights
  • International Human Rights
  • International Law and Development in Africa
  • Legislative and Policy Advocacy
  • Mediation
  • Queens D.A. Prosecution
  • Rule of Law*
  • Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law
  • Securities Litigation and Arbitration
* Launching in spring 2021
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