Fordham Law School


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Public Service at Fordham Law

In the Service of Others

Fordham Law prepares its students to confront the challenges of our times—to become leaders in the legal profession who will effect real change through principled, ethical lawyering; through active citizenship; and through an unwavering dedication to justice. From student-initiated groups and service-oriented legal centers to specialized academic courses, Fordham Law provides countless avenues for students to pursue public interest and service—and to learn about, practice, and get involved in social justice lawyering.

The hub of all public service activity at Fordham Law is the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC), which helps organize and inspire more than twenty student-run pro bono, advocacy, and community service groups. For almost 30 years, Fordham Law students have coordinated with PIRC to spend their spring breaks volunteering to provide legal support and other resources to people in need around the world.

The School’s National Center for Access to Justice is dedicated to achieving reform that helps people obtain justice in the courts. The center’s Justice Index uses cutting-edge data analytics to help replicate best practices for access to justice in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Other public service opportunities include the Stein Scholars Program, which offers students a supportive community, extensive mentorship and guidance, unique academic training, and financial support to launch and maintain nonprofit and government careers.

The public interest and service concentration prepares JD students to fight injustice and to help empower and advocate for disenfranchised individuals and communities. In order to relieve some of the debt burden for our graduates who pursue careers in the nonprofit area, Fordham offers the Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

In addition to giving students hands-on work experience in a broad range of legal advocacy, assistance, and community legal education efforts in and outside New York City, all our public service initiatives actively develop solid lawyering skills and familiarize students with the kind of problem solving they will encounter throughout their professional careers.

Students in the Immigration Advocacy Project (IAP) smile and pose together in front of the Dilley, Texas city limit/population green sign on a sunny day as part of their service trip
Students in the Immigration Advocacy Project (IAP), during their service trip to Dilley, Texas. They provided legal assistance to women and children refugees in family detention.
“It was amazing, tiring, and exhausting, but I’ll never forget the work I did there.”

Public Service Quick Facts

  • Fordham Law students participate in more than 130,000 hours of public service work per class on average during their time in law school.
  • The Public Interest Resource Center received the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for public service, making Fordham Law the second of three law schools to ever win the award.
  • The Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law & Ethics is a nationally recognized award-winning program that provides students with a comprehensive three-year educational curriculum and abundant extracurricular opportunities that combine academic training with practical experience in public interest law.

PIRC Student Groups

  • Advocates for the Incarcerated
  • Artist Representation Society
  • Consumer Law Advocates
  • Domestic Violence Action Center
  • Education Law Collaborative
  • Environmental Law Advocates
  • Fordham Law Advocates for Voter Rights
  • Fordham Law Defenders
  • Fordham Law Student Veterans
  • Fordham Law National Lawyers Guild
  • Housing Advocacy Project
  • If/ When/ How Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
  • Immigration Advocacy Project
  • International Refugee Assistance Project
  • Mentoring Youth Through Legal Education
  • Stein Scholars Program
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of Fordham Law School
  • Suspension Representation Project
  • Unemployment Action Center
  • Workers’ Rights Advocates
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