Paula Franzese

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Paula Ann Franzese
Born Paula Ann Franzese
1960 (age 54–55)
United States
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation legal scholar, author, educator
Awards "Exemplary teacher"[1][2]

Paula Ann Franzese (born 1960) is a American legal scholar based in New Jersey who focuses on government ethics and property law.[3] She is an award-winning legal educator,[1][2] advocate for ethics reform,[4] spokesperson for legal education,[3][5][6] chairwoman on the New Jersey ethics commission, and author.[5][7] She is the Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law in the Seton Hall University School of Law.[7]

Early career[edit]

Franzese was born in 1960 and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree from Columbia's Barnard College.[8][9][7] She became a member of the academic honor society called Phi Beta Kappa.[7] She received a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School, and won several academic prizes, including the Rosenman prize for excellence in public law courses.[9][7][8] She worked as a litigator with Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York City, where she served as a member of the New York City Housing Court reform project.[7] She clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court justice Alan B. Handler.[7] She became a professor of law at Seton Hall Law School.


Building at Seton Hall's school of law in Newark, New Jersey.

Franzese is acknowledged as an authority on two aspects of law: government ethics and property law.[10][11] Her scholarship focuses on these two main areas. Her research into property law includes common interest communities,[12] affordable housing, including a legal analysis of the Mount Laurel doctrine.[13] In 2006 she was named to the editorial board of the Land Use and Environmental Law Review.[7] Her casebook Property Law and the Public Interest explored the public interest dimensions of property law.[7] She published in legal journals such as the Seton Hall Law Review.[14][15] In addition to her scholarship, Franzese wrote two general-purpose guidebooks for students, including A Short & Happy Guide To Being A College Student and A Short & Happy Guide To Being A Law Student.[16][17]

Law school educator[edit]

Franzese taught law at different types of schools, most notably at Seton Hall Law School. She also lectured for ten years at BarBri, a bar-exam preparation firm, serving as its national lecturer on property law.[1][18] She taught a course to middle schoolers entitled Civics, Character and Leadership.[5] In legal education, she advocated that law professors emphasize a "conceptual, contextual and empathetic understanding".[3] Her philosophy of education is optimistic,[16] and she encourages law students to have empathy with others as a way of better understanding the law and becoming more effective lawyers.[2] She said:

Can we make real the promise of renewed optimism? I answer with a resounding yes. No matter how seemingly humble or modest our circumstances, we each have the capacity to do the work of the angels on earth and to close the gap between what is and what ought to be. Cynicism, wrote Phillip Van Munching, is a belief in nothing.

—Franzese, 2010[5]

Franzese won Seton Hall Law School's teaching award seven times.[1] She was named as an Exemplary Teacher by the American Association of Higher Education.[7] She was identified as one of the best 26 law school teachers in the United States in 2013.[2] Legal educator Richard C. Reuben described Franzese as having "warmth, kindness and a genuine sense of interest" in people.[1]

Ethics and reform advocacy[edit]

Franzese is an advocate of ethics reform.[4] She served with three governors of New Jersey on ethics-related commissions, including for governors Richard Codey and Jon Corzine.[7] In 2010, as chairwoman of the New Jersey Ethics Commission,[8][5] she called for an investigation into whether officials of the administration of then-governor Jon Corzine improperly secured tickets to concerts by Bruce Springsteen and U2.[19] In 2014, she criticized the administration of New Jersey governor Christie in that officials conflated their official duties with campaign efforts.[10][20]

The public trust is betrayed by the perception that official power would be wielded as a sort of quid pro quo in the attempt to secure support for the governor's reelection bid.

—Franzese, commenting in 2014 on the Fort Lee lane closure scandal.[10]

In 2007, Franzese argued that the profession should work harder towards defining itself positively.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Franzese is married and has two children.[5]


  • A Short & Happy Guide To Being A College Student[16][17]
  • A Short & Happy Guide To Being A Law Student.[16][17]
  • Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Property, Aspen publishers.
  • Legend of the Law, Gilbert series, in property law, Harcourt Brace, 1996.
  • Audiotape and CD course on property law, Thomson, 2003.[7]
  • Property Law and the Public Interest, Lexis Nexis, 2003, with Callies, Mandelker & Hylton[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Richard C. Reuben, Journal of Legal Education, Volume 61, Number 4 (May 2012)Bringing Mindfulness into the Classroom: A Personal Journey, Accessed July 4, 2014, (see page 674+) "Franzese...respected property casebook author and scholar, a leader in the AALS Section on Teaching Methods, a star on the Bar Bri circuit, ... seven-time winner of Seton Hall’s teaching award...
  2. ^ a b c d 2013, Harvard College (publisher), authors of book => Michael Schwartz, Gerald F. Hess, Sophie M. Sparrow, What the Best Law Teachers Do, Accessed July 4, 2014, (chosen among the 26 best law school teachers in the nation) -- see opening methodology in book
  3. ^ a b c JACOB GERSHMAN, May 21, 2013, The Wall Street Journal, Are Law Schools Neglecting Half of the Brain?, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...Paula A. Franzese, a property and government ethics professor...."
  4. ^ a b Bill Ward, April 18, 2006, New Jersey Eminent Domain Law, Eminent Domain: Viewing N.J.'s ethical landscape, Accessed July 4, 2014, "..."In a state where news of public corruption seems to be never ending, can we ever make real the promise of ethics reform?" - Paula A. Franzese, Chair of the State Ethics Commission..."
  5. ^ a b c d e f JIM DAVIDSON, 2010, Cleveland Daily Banner, Have we become an ‘uninspired’ people?, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...a fantastic lady .... Paula Franzese ..."
  6. ^ a b Paula A. Franzese, December 2007, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, No. 249, The Good Lawyer: Finding Meaning Through Service, Accessed July 4, 2014, Chapter by Paula Franzese, (see page 37 onwards) "...We must take care, then, in defining our profession and our place in it...."
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m LexisNexis, Paula A. Franzese, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...Paula Franzese is the Peter Rodino Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law School...."
  8. ^ a b c Columbia University Club of Northern New Jersey, Paula Franzese - The Changing Face(s) of the Supreme Court--Redux, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...Paula Franzese ... honors graduate of Barnard College ... currently chairwoman of the NJ Ethics Commission. ..."
  9. ^ a b Martindale Hubbell, Profile, Accessed July 4, 2014, "Peter Rodino Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law, ... Areas of Focus: Property; Commercial Law ... University: Columbia University, B.A.; Law School: Columbia University, J.D.; Born New York, New York, May 12, 1960 ..."
  10. ^ a b c Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau, May 13, 2014, Philadelphia Inquirer, Did Christie office cross the line between campaign and government?, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...conflation of official duties and campaign efforts is problematic..."
  11. ^ March 16, 2014, MSNBC, Keystone battle highlights landowner issue: The battles over the Keystone Pipeline have highlighted what is an issue that impacts landowners all across our country. Karen Finney talks with Texas farm owner Julia Trigg Crawford and Seton Hall law professor Paula Franzese, Accessed July 4, 2014
  12. ^ Paula Franzese, August 8, 2011, Rutgers Law Review, NEW JERSEY COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES: PREDICTORS OF DISTRESS AND AN AGENDA FOR REFORM, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...homeowners associations and the dilemma of privatization, the law of servitudes, exclusionary zoning, affordable housing, adverse possession doctrine and takings law. ..."
  13. ^ Paula Franzese, Volume 19, 1991, Fordham Law Review, Mount Laurel and the Fair Housing Act: Success or Failure? A Presentation by the Affordable Housing Colloquium of the Seton Hall University Center for Social Justice with an Introduction and Commentary by Paula A. Franzese, Accessed July 4, 2014, ".. concerning affordable housing. This article explores the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the Mount Laurel doctrine, ...."
  14. ^ Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, 1989, via Social Science Research Network, 'Georgia on My Mind' -- Reflections on O'Keefe v. Snyder, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...The recent centennial anniversary of the birth of celebrated American artist Georgia O'Keefe offers occasion to reflect upon the New Jersey Supreme Court's seminal pronouncement in the heralded case of O'Keefe v. Snyder...."
  15. ^ Franzese, Paula A., 'Georgia on My Mind' -- Reflections on O'Keefe v. Snyder (1989). Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, 1989. Available at SSRN: Link to article
  16. ^ a b c d March 16, 2014, CBS News, Mom, Professor Pens Books About Going Off To College, Law School, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...Paula Franzese..."
  17. ^ a b c MAIA BIX, March 5, 2014, Columbia Spectator, Barnard professor writes two books giving advice to college students, Accessed July 4, 2014
  18. ^ YILU ZHAO, June 27, 2001, The New York Times, For Exam, Recollection Is Nine-Tenths of the Law, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...confronted by a single instructor, Paula Franzese, who has lectured for 10 years for Bar/Bri, the country's largest bar exam preparation company...."
  19. ^ ALICIA CRUZ, April 7, 2010, New Jersey Newsroom, N.J. Ethics Commission chairwoman Paula Franzese wants investigation into Springsteen tickets, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...Paula Franzese ... Jon Corzine's administration secured tickets to Bruce Springsteen and U2 concerts .."
  20. ^ Paula A. Franzese, January 31, 2014, Star-Ledger, Christie's pick raises concern: Ethics Commission must be independent (Opinion), Accessed July 4, 2014, "...The present crisis enveloping the governor’s office ... affords the opportunity to reclaim the promise of the sweeping ethics reforms..."

External links[edit]