Paula Franzese

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Paula Ann Franzese
Paula Franzese Prof Paula hr--Professor Franzese owns this work and has specifically requested that it is uploaded.jpg
Born Paula Ann Franzese
(1960-05-12) May 12, 1960 (age 56)
United States
Alma mater Columbia University
Occupation legal scholar, author, educator
Awards "Exemplary teacher"[1][2]

Paula Ann Franzese (born 1960) is an American legal scholar based in New Jersey who focuses on government ethics[3] and property law.[4] She is an award-winning legal educator[1][2] and advocate for ethics reform,[5] spokesperson for legal education, [4][6][7] housing advocate[8], chairwoman on the New Jersey ethics commission, and author.[6] She is the Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law in the Seton Hall University School of Law.[3]

Early career[edit]

Franzese was born in 1960 and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree from Columbia's Barnard College.[9] She became a member of the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. 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] “She worked as a litigator with Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York City, where she worked with First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams and served as a member of the New York City Housing Court reform project. She clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court justice Alan B. Handler. She became a professor of law at Seton Hall Law School in 1986, where she is the Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law.[10]


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.[11][12] Her scholarship focuses on these two main areas. Her research into property law includes landlord-tenant reform,[13][14] common interest communities including homeowners boards,[15][16] affordable housing, including a legal analysis of the Mount Laurel doctrine.[17] She published in legal journals and books including America’s Second Gilded Age? Perspectives on Law and Class Differences, NYU Press (Paul Carrington & Trina Jones, eds.), The Affective Assistance of Counsel: Practicing Law as a Healing Profession, Carolina Academic Press (Marjorie Silver, ed.), and Strategies and Techniques of Law School Teaching: Property, Aspen Publishing. 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.[18][19]

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][20] She taught a course to middle schoolers at the St. Catherine of Siena School entitled Civics, Character and Leadership.[6][21] She has moderated panels discussing such issues as microaggression.[22] In legal education, she advocated that law professors emphasize a "conceptual, contextual and empathetic understanding".[4] Her philosophy of education is optimistic,[18] 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[6]

Franzese won Seton Hall Law School's teaching award at least ten times.[23][1] 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.[5] She served with three governors of New Jersey on ethics-related commissions, including for governors Richard Codey and Jon Corzine. Her ethics reform work led to the promulgation of major legislative reform, including promulgation of the Uniform Ethics Code.

In 2014, she criticized the administration of New Jersey governor Christie in that officials conflated their official duties with campaign efforts.[11][24]

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.[11]

In 2011, Franzese received the COGEL Award, the National Council on Government Ethics Law's highest honor. [25]

In 2007, Franzese argued that the profession should work harder towards defining itself positively.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Franzese has two children.[6]


  • A Short & Happy Guide To Being A College Student[18][26]
  • A Short & Happy Guide To Being A Law Student.[18]
  • 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.
  • Property Law and the Public Interest, Lexis Nexis, 2003, with Callies, Mandelker & Hylton


  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 Adubato, Steve (June 22, 2015). "Which Gifts to Politicians Are Legal?". Retrieved October 4, 2015. ...aula Franzese, Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law at Seton Hall Law School, breaks down the letter and intent of the law as it relates to public officials accepting gifts while in office, ... 
  4. ^ 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...."
  5. ^ 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..."
  6. ^ a b c d e JIM DAVIDSON, 2010, Cleveland Daily Banner, Have we become an ‘uninspired’ people?, Accessed July 4, 2014, "...a fantastic lady .... Paula Franzese ..."
  7. ^ 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...."
  8. ^ "Less than 1% of N.J. tenants know their rights". 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  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. ^ "Paula Franzese". Seton Hall. 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  11. ^ 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..."
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ "Less than 1% of N.J. tenants know their rights". 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  14. ^ "How to stop slumlords from abusing poor tenants". 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-27. 
  15. ^ MANSNERUS, LAURA (March 12, 2006). "Chalk One Up for Homeowners". New York Times. Retrieved October 4, 2015. ...homeowners board... one state ... treat these councils like real governments... "This is the hottest, most-litigious field now in property law," said Prof. Paula Franzese... 
  16. ^ 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. ..."
  17. ^ 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, ...."
  18. ^ 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..."
  19. ^ MAIA BIX, March 5, 2014, Columbia Spectator, Barnard professor writes two books giving advice to college students, Accessed July 4, 2014
  20. ^ 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...."
  21. ^ Mazzola, Jessica (November 12, 2014). "Seton Hall law professor inspires as volunteer teacher at Cedar Grove middle school". Retrieved October 4, 2015. ...she's an award-winning law professor... named one of the best law professors in the country, the Vice Chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court Special Committee on Attorney Ethics and Admissions ... ethics advisor ...middle school students in Cedar Grove get to learn from her.... 
  22. ^ ABA (June 11, 2015). "Micro-Aggressions from the Boardroom, Courtroom, to the Presidential Campaign Trail". American Bar Association. Retrieved October 4, 2015. ...Paula Franzese ... moderated a panel ... explored ... micro-aggressions ... verbal and nonverbal behaviors that communicate negative hostile and derogatory messages ... 
  23. ^ "Paula Franzese". Seton Hall Law. 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  24. ^ 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..."
  25. ^ "2011 COGEL Award Paula Franzese Delivered by COGEL Officer and Deputy Executive Director of the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, Nedda Massar" (PDF). Seton Hall Law. 2011. Retrieved 2017-03-02. 
  26. ^ Cutler, Jacqueline (May 10, 2015). "'Short & Happy' advice from a Cedar Grove mom". Star-Ledger. Retrieved October 3, 2015. ...she wrote "A Short & Happy Guide to Being a College Student" (West Academic Publishing, 248 pp., $17), a... 

External links[edit]