The History of Fordham Law

Fordham Law School was founded in 1905, and has an enrollment of approximately 1,500 students in the day and evening divisions and the masters (L.L.M.) program.  The School opened in what is now known as Collins Hall on Fordham University=s Rose Hill Campus in Bronx, New York, and shortly thereafter moved to a location in downtown Manhattan.  By 1912, a separate evening division was established, which remains a vital component of the Law School today.  From 1915 to 1943, the Law School was located in the Woolworth Building, and then, until 1961, the Law School joined other parts of Fordham University in a building at the corner of Broadway and Duane Streets in Manhattan.  The Law School=s permanent home in the Lincoln Center section of Manhattan was established in 1961, and in 1984, its building was enlarged to accommodate an atrium, amphitheatre, additional classrooms, and an expanded library.


Candidates for a Doctor of Law (J.D.) degree must complete 83 credit units.  The required program in the day division extends over three academic years; in the evening division, it extends over four academic years.  The School=s requirements are designed to meet or exceed the requirements of the New York Court of Appeals, the American Bar Association, and the Association of American Law Schools.

First Year Day students are required to take the following courses:  Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Process, Legal Research & Writing, Property, and Torts.  First Year Evening students are required to take the following courses:  Contracts, Criminal Law, Legal Process, Legal Research & Writing, Property, and Torts.  Second Year Evening students are required to take the following courses:  Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law.  Upper-class students are required to take Corporations and Professional Responsibility, and to fulfill a writing requirement.

Law School Programs

The Law School includes a day and an evening program.  Students may be candidates for a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree or a graduate masters (L.L.M.) degree.  In addition, students may be enrolled in joint degree programs.  The School of Law and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offer a combined program of studies in law and graduate-level International Political Economy and Development.  The School of Law and the Martino Graduate School of Business Administration have established a combined program of studies in law and graduate level business administration, leading to a J.D./M.B.A. degree.  The School of Law and the Graduate School of Social Service offer a combined program of study in law and graduate level social work.

The Clinical Program

Fordham Law School's Clinical program helps bridge students' academic and professional life.  In addition to the Externship Program, the Law Clinic offers opportunities for students to integrate legal analysis with lawyering theory and skills.  By assuming lawyering roles or performing lawyering functions in problem-solving settings, students begin the process of experimental and reflective learning.  For more information you may contact the Director of Clinical Education (see Directory).  Clinics include the following:
  • Criminal Defense
  • Federal Litigation
  • Housing Rights
  • Immigrants’ Rights and Access to Justice
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Justice
  • Mediation
  • Securities Arbitration
  • Social Justice
  • Tax & Consumer Litigation
  • Walter Leitner International Human Rights

Centers and Institutes

In addition to its course curriculum, Fordham Law School includes a number of Centers and Institutes, each of which organizes conferences and hosts programs.  These activities, which afford a multi-dimensional approach to the legal training of law students and enhances their preparation for professional careers, may be related thematically to your course.
  • The Center for Corporate, Securities, and Financial Law serves as a focal point for the School=s business law programs.  Capitalizing on the Law School=s strong academic reputation, its alumni network of prominent corporate and business leaders, and its location in the financial capital of the world, the Center provides a forum in which attorneys and policy makers can address issues of importance to the business community.  The Center=s programs include roundtable discussions, in which leaders in the business community are invited to debate financial issues and consider business challenges to formulate policy in an academic environment that is independent of partisanship or client influence.  The Center also enjoys the support of a specialized scholarly journal, the Journal of Corporate & Financial Law, which has published reports of many of the Center=s programs.  The Center also runs an Advanced Business Law Seminar in which students are introduced to leading business law academicians.
  • The Center on European Union Law was established in 1984.  The Center provides a teaching and resource facility devoted to European Union law, as well as European Union and international antitrust.  The Center holds lectures at Fordham and elsewhere on current European Union law topics by Court of Justice judges, officials of the European Commission and Council, members of the European Parliament, and European scholars; develops of curricula and teaching materials to be used at Fordham and other law schools throughout the United States and Europe; and facilitates an exchange of ideas and information amongst scholars, governmental officials, lawyers, business executives, and students.  The Center assists in the arrangements for such courses as European Union Law, EC Business and Trade Law, EC Competition Law, EC Intellectual Property Law, EC Intellectual Property Licensing, EC-US Constitutional Law Comparisons, and European Monetary Union and Banking Law.
  • The Conflict Resolution and ADR Program offers a unique opportunity to study conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution.  The Program encompasses an integrated agenda of teaching, scholarship, and practice in conflict resolution within the national and international communities.  Courses and clinics are offered in negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and international conflict resolution.  The Fordham Belfast/Dublin Summer Study Abroad Program and the Fordham-Ulster Conflict Resolution Program comprise part of the Program=s international activities.
  • The Competition Law Institute offers annual conferences and training in the general areas of private international law and public regulation of competitive international trade and investment.  The Institute=s programs bring together governmental officials, attorneys, and academicians from around the world and its proceedings are then published.
  • September 2007 marked the launch of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice as well as the 10th anniversary of the Crowley Program in International Human Rights. Professors Martin Flaherty and Tracy Higgins founded the program in 1997, creating what remains a unique fieldwork-centered model of human rights scholarship and education. Since that time, the program has trained scores of students, sponsored well over one hundred events, including many panels, film screenings, conferences, and symposia, and greatly expanding opportunities for students to work in the field of human rights.
  • The Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy provides a forum within Fordham University for the development of initiatives that promote interdisciplinary cooperation amongst professionals serving families and at-risk children in urban communities.  The Center is a joint undertaking of the School of Law, the Graduate School of Social Service, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Department of Psychology).  Initiatives include consideration of issues raised by family violence, including the abuse and neglect of children and intimate partner violence, and the impact of the child protective system on children and their families.
  • The Brendan Moore Advocacy Center and the Brendan Moore Advocates Program fosters the teaching and study of lawyers as advocates, with special emphasis on client representation at the trial level.  Moore Advocates are selected from amongst first-year day and second-year Evening students and participate in a two-year program of sequenced class offerings, externships, and special programs.
  • The Public Interest Resource Center acts as a clearinghouse for student-initiated pro bono and community service projects, serving the poor and those of limited means in such areas as domestic violence, unemployment, housing, death penalty advocacy, family court mediation, immigration, police misconduct, environmental advocacy, and community service.
  • The Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics reflects the Law School=s commitment to teaching, legal scholarship, and professional service to promote the integration of ethical perspectives in legal practice, legal institutions, and the development of law generally.  The Center sponsors programs, develops publications, and supports scholarship on contemporary issues of law and ethics, and encourages professional and public institutions to integrate moral perspectives into their work.  The Center also offers programs for practicing lawyers in fulfillment of New York=s CLE requirements.  The Center oversees the Stein Scholars Program, a three-year program for selected Law School students who work in public interest settings and undertake specialized academic coursework in legal ethics.

Moot Court Program

Fordham Law School also helps students master advocacy skills through the Moot Court Board, consistently fielding championship competition teams.  All first year students are introduced to skills relating to the crafting of appellate briefs and arguments as part of their Legal Writing course.  Thereafter, students may choose to continue to develop these skills by participating in the Moot Court Program.

Student Publications

Fordham Law School has several student publications that enrich students= academic experience and help students continue to master legal writing techniques.  These journals include:
  • Fordham Law Review
  • Fordham Urban Law Journal
  • Fordham International Law Journal
  • Fordham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal
  • Fordham Environmental Law Journal
  • Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law
  • The Common Good

Student Activities

Fordham Law School offers a number of athletic, political, and social activities for students, including the following.
  • The Advocate
  • American Bar Association/Law Student Division
  • American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
  • American Law Student Association
  • Amnesty International
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Board of Student Advisors
  • Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Center
  • Catholic Law Students
  • Change for Change
  • Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO)
  • Community Service Project
  • Death Penalty Awareness Project
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Center
  • Environmental Law Advocates
  • Fordham Disaster Relief Network
  • Fordham Dispute Resolution Society
  • Fordham Environmental Law Review
  • Fordham Health, Education, Advocacy and Law Society
  • Fordham Information Law Society
  • Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
  • Fordham International Law Journal
  • Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law
  • Fordham Law Advocates for Voters Rights
  • Fordham Law Democrats
  • Fordham Law Follies
  • Fordham Law Republicans
  • Fordham Law Review
  • Fordham Law Softball
  • Fordham Law Tortfeasors
  • Fordham Law Women
  • Fordham Media and Entertainment Law Society
  • Fordham National Security and Law Society
  • Fordham OUTlaws – Fordham’s LGBT Law Student Association
  • Fordham Parents Attending Law School
  • Fordham Sports Law Forum
  • Fordham Student Sponsored Fellowship, Inc.
  • Fordham Urban Law Journal
  • Gavel and Shield Society
  • Global Law Society
  • Habitat for Humanity at Fordham Law School
  • Housing Advocacy Project
  • I Prep Program
  • Immigration Advocacy Project
  • Irish Law Students Association
  • Italian American Law Students Association
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Junta, The
  • Latin American Law Students Association
  • Latin Students Against Trafficking
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Law Students Supporting Science
  • Legal Education and Advocacy Project
  • Lincoln Square Neighborhood Children’s Law Project
  • Media and Entertainment Law Society
  • Moot Court Program
  • Muslim Law Students Association
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Older and Wiser Law Students
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
  • Prisoner’s Rights Advocates
  • Research, Education and Advocacy to Combat Homelessness
  • South Asian Law Students Association
  • Sports Lawyers Society
  • Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law & Ethics
  • Students Animal Legal Defense Fund of Fordham Law School
  • Student Bar Association
  • Student Hurricane Network
  • The Common Good
  • Unemployment Action Center
  • United for Liberty
  • Universal Jurisdiction
  • Yearbook

Student Bar Association also sponsors intramural softball, tennis, and basketball games.

Fordham Law School recognizes that significant learning and experience are gained outside the classroom.  If you are involved in a symposium, bar association or continuing legal education program, or the like that you feel may benefit the Law School community, please contact Helen Herman at 212-636-6885 to coordinate arrangements to post information or distribute brochures.