Fordham University School of Law

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Fordham University School of Law
Fordham University School of Law seal features university and school name in Latin, the scales of justice, and the 1905 date of the school's founding.
Latin: Universitatis Fordhamensis Iuris Schola
Motto in English
In the Service of Others
Established 1905
Type Private[1]
Affiliation Catholic, Jesuit
President Rev. Joseph M. McShane S.J.
Dean Michael M. Martin
Postgraduates 1,500
Location New York City, New York, United States
Campus Lincoln Center (Manhattan):
Urban, 8 acres (32,000 m2)
Colors Maroon and White          
Nickname The Rams
Mascot Ram
New Fordham Law School
Law school lobby
Fordham Law library entrance
Fordham Law library reading room
Fordham Law faculty stairs
New Fordham Law moot court

Fordham University School of Law (commonly known as Fordham Law or Fordham Law School) is a part of Fordham University in the United States. The School is located in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City, and is one of eight ABA-approved law schools in that city. In 2013, 91% of the law school's first-time test takers passed the bar exam, placing the law school fifth-best among New York's 15 law schools.[2]

According to Fordham University School of Law's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 63.4% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[3]


According to the information reported to the American Bar Association, 1,328 J.D. students attended Fordham Law in 2013-2014.[4] There are 1,109 full-time students and 219 part-time students. Fordham Law also offers Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees in the following specializations: Banking, Corporate, & Finance Law; Corporate Compliance; Intellectual Property & Information Technology Law; International Business & Trade Law; International Dispute Resolution; International Law & Justice; and U.S. and Comparative Law.[5] LLM students can take a second concentration after finishing the first one by enrolling in a third semester.[6] Fordham University offers a "3-3 Program" that allows students to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science and a Juris Doctor in six years of study: three at Fordham College and three at Fordham Law.[7] Fordham Law offers three joint degrees in conjunction with Fordham University's other graduate schools: J.D./M.A. in International Political Economy and Development; J.D./M.B.A.; and J.D./M.S.W..[8] The current dean of Fordham Law School is Michael M. Martin.[9]

Founded in 1905, Fordham Law commemorated its Centennial during the 2005-2006 academic year, and capped the year-long celebration with an alumni gala on Ellis Island on September 28, the school's official birthday. The school used the occasion of its Centennial to launch a new fundraising drive in 2005, and in just one year had raised more than $10 million thanks in large part to the more than 100 "Centennial Founders" who each contributed $100,000 or more.


In the 2016 edition of U.S. News and World Report's "Best Graduate Schools," Fordham Law was ranked 34th.[10] It has the highest ranked part-time law program in New York state (ranked 3rd in the nation in the 2016 edition.)[11] Additionally, three specialty programs were nationally ranked: Dispute Resolution, 13th; Clinical Training, 14th, and Intellectual Property, 17th.[12]

According to the American Universities Admission Program's LL.M Rankings, the Fordham Law LL.M program was ranked 6th nationally in 2012.[13]

According to the National Law Journal, Fordham Law ranks 15th in percentage of class of 2013 graduates hired by "Big Law" firms (firms with 100 or more lawyers) [14] and 19th in percentage of 2013 graduates hired by NLJ 250 law firms.[15]

In 2013, 91% of the law school's first-time test takers passed the bar exam, placing the law school fifth-best among New York's 15 law schools.[16]


Originally located in New York's downtown Financial District, Fordham Law is currently located on the West Side of Manhattan, as part of Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus. As part of the university's Lincoln Center Master Plan, unveiled in 2005,[17] a new law school building was built. The building took three years to complete, following the groundbreaking on May 2, 2011.[18] The new law school building is part of the university's Phase 1 redevelopment of its Lincoln Center Campus.[19]

The building was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners to serve a dual-purpose for Fordham University: a nine-story pedestal (and lower level floor) houses the law school, and a 22-story tower serves as an undergraduate residence hall.[20]

The law school portion of the building was dedicated on September 18, 2014, former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg delivered the keynote address and U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor also gave a speech before presiding over the ribbon-cutting ceremony.[21]


Legal writing program[edit]

Fordham offers an extensive legal writing program, with many course offerings beyond the first year. All legal writing courses are taught by adjunct professors.

Clinical education[edit]

The Clinical education program at Fordham Law is ranked 14th nationally by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 edition of America's Best Graduate Schools.[22] At Fordham, Clinical education is available but not required. Students are selected for clinics via a competitive application process. Fordham students have an opportunity to enroll in clinics following their first year, and after taking the Fundamental Lawyering Skills course. In Fall 2014, 14 clinics are offered:[23]

  • Community Economic Development
  • Consumer Litigation
  • Criminal Defense
  • Family Advocacy
  • Federal Litigation
  • Immigrant Rights
  • International Human Rights
  • International Law & Development in Africa
  • Mediation
  • Policy & Legislative Advocacy: Civil Rights and Poverty
  • Queens DA Prosecution
  • Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law
  • Securities Litigation & Arbitration
  • Tax

Fordham's clinics represent clients as "Lincoln Square Legal Services."

Crowley Program in International Human Rights[edit]

The Crowley Program in International Human Rights, named after the late Professor Joseph R. Crowley, was founded in 1997. It is a highly selective program of study in international human rights law undertaken in the 2L year, culminating in a two-week overseas fact-finding mission in the summer. Students in the program are known as Crowley Scholars. In the fall semester, Crowley Scholars are required to take International Human Rights, a survey course, and are encouraged to take other human rights/international law courses. In the spring, Crowley Scholars take a seminar to prepare them for the summer fact-finding mission. Following the mission, Crowley Scholars assist in writing the mission report, which is later published in the Fordham International Law Journal. The program is overseen by in part by a Crowley Fellow, who serves a one-year adjunct professorship.

Public Interest Resource Center[edit]

Fordham's Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) serves as the clearinghouse for student community service and pro bono work, and hosts 19 student-run organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Unemployment Action Center, Just Democracy, and others. PIRC earned Fordham Law the American Bar Association's 2008 Pro Bono Publico Award, making Fordham Law only the second university winner in the award's history.[24]

Stein Scholars[edit]

The PIRC also runs the competitive Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics, in which selected students train for a career in the public sphere and receive funding for doing unpaid public interest work. Stein Scholars are required to do an externship during the summer after their first year and attend a Stein section of the summer externship seminar that includes readings and discussions related to the externship for which they receive two academic credits. During their second year, Stein Scholars are required to enroll in two courses dealing with ethics and public interest law. In the fall semester, Stein Scholars can choose between Ethics and Public Interest Law, which focuses on civil practice, and Ethics in Criminal Advocacy, which examines the ethical responsibilities of lawyers who work in the criminal justice system. In the Spring of their second year, Stein Scholars enroll in an Advanced Seminar on Ethics and Public Interest Law. In the Advanced Seminar, students work in small groups with public interest law offices in New York City. These group projects enable Stein Scholars to apply the principles considered in the classroom to real life situations. Stein Scholars extern/intern in a variety of placements in legal services, government, and other public interest settings, both in the United States and abroad.

The program is sponsored by the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics, which counts among its Board of Advisors several influential people, including three sitting judges.

Student publications[edit]

Students at Fordham Law publish six nationally recognized law journals. According to a recent study by Washington & Lee University, among journals published 2006-2013, they are ranked among the most cited in court cases and other journal articles as follows:[25]

Notable alumni[edit]

Fordham Law in popular culture[edit]


According to Fordham Law's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 71.3% of the Class of 2013 were employed full-time nine months after graduation; 63.4% were in full-time, long-term, JD-required positions; 12.89% held positions the ABA classifies as "J.D. Advantage" (defined by NALP as "legal training is deemed to be an advantage or even necessary in the workplace"[26]); and 22.5% were employed in public sector positions in government, nonprofit organizations, and judicial clerkships.[27] Fordham Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 26.6%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[28]

ABA Employment Summary for 2013 Graduates[29]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Full-Time, Long-Term)
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Part-Time and/or Short-Term)
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 481 Graduates


The 2014-2015 tuition at Fordham Law is $51,880 for full-time J.D. students and $38,910 for part-time J.D. students; the estimated fees, room and board, and other expenses total $27,794 for full-time and $27,704 for part-time students (not including a $2,564 student health insurance charge, which the school will waive for students who have alternative health insurance coverage).[30] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $295,466.[31]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 40°46′16″N 73°59′04″W / 40.77100°N 73.98444°W / 40.77100; -73.98444