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Committee on Diversity in Business Law

MOTTO:
Lex Aequa Omnem Civem Amplectitur
A just law encompasses every citizen.


MISSION STATEMENT

To generate interest amongst traditionally underrepresented students in taking upper level business law courses and to foster greater diversity in the practice of business law.

NEED

Minority law students at Fordham Law are underrepresented in the upper level business law curriculum.  Students surveyed attributed the underrepresentation to a lack of familiarity with the basic issues confronted in these courses and a lack of exposure to the corporate law profession. 

The Committee on Diversity in Business Law (“CDBL”) will address this problem with special programs aimed at promoting business law among traditionally underrepresented students.

PROGRAMS

The CDBL will seek to generate interest among students of diverse backgrounds in taking upper level business law courses and to foster greater diversity in the practice of business law.  There are several initiatives and programs, broadly grouped around the themes of faculty contact and alumni outreach.  Over time, the Committee will also seek to build partnership programs outside of the law school as well, with potential linkages with the business school and bar organizations.

Fall 2012 CDBL Programs included:
September 24, 2012   Inaugural Reception  for students interested in CDBL to learn about the Committee and Mentoring Program
November 7 - 9, 2012   PLI Securities Institute: through the sponsorship of Holland & Knight, two students each received a $1,150 scholarship to attend the Conference.  There were networking opportunities available. 
November 8, 2012    "Beyond the Checkbox: Reflections on Diversity in Business Law", organized and moderated by Brenda L.Gill '95 (Head of Strategic Analysis, GSAM), ThomsonReuters with Rhonda Oliver'95 (Practice Director H5), April Plana (Associate General Counsel, Digital Media Services, Verizon Communication ), and Squire Servance (Senior Associate, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP) 
November 16, 2012   Site Visit to Dechert LLP with FLS alumnus Mauricio Espana

Spring 2013 CDBL Programs:
January 31, 2013  Speed Networking Event.  Alumni and students met to discuss Mentoring opportunities.
January - April 2013  ASAFE Program at New York City Bar Association (Alliance of Securities and Financial Educators): Securities and Finance Law Seminar Series for selected Second and Third Year Students from New York & New Jersey Law Schools.
March 8, 2013  Site visit to Sidley Austin.  FLS alumni Bindu Donovan, Miguel Nieves and Michael Kanatake, spoke about their practices.
April 12, 2013  Site visit to Bank of America (2 World Financial Center) for a panel discussion abaout various practice areas.

INITIATIVES

FIRM VISITS/SHADOWING PROGRAM

This program will introduce (1L and 2L) students to business law. Each student will be invited to attend a short program organized by a law firm/company with diversity colleagues.  CDBL would eventually like to expand this opportunity to include a full day with an attorney and the opportunity to observe the skill set needed to thrive in the attorney's practice area. This exposure to business law should generate an interest in corporate and business law and encourage students to take upper level business law classes.

MENTORING PROGRAM

This program will pair students interested in pursuing a career in business law with experienced alumni in the field of corporate and business law.

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

This program will allow students to work at financial institutions over the course of a semester. By working at financial institutions, students will observe the roles attorneys play outside a corporate law firm setting. Through this experience, students will develop a better understanding of business law and bolster their resumes.

Alumni Advisory Board is in formation with recent CDBL graduates.

CONTACT US
If you are interested in being a member, mentor or mentee or would like to contribute to any of our other initiatives please contact us at: fordhamcdbl@gmail.com
Webpage: http://law.fordham.edu/corporate-law-center/24246.htm


THE COMMITTEE (2013-2014)
OFFICERS: Zhouzhou "Max" Guo (Chair), Michael Levario (Vice Chair), Songhee Oh (Treasurer), Michelle Chan (Secretary), Stephon Martin (Director of Alumni Communications), Michael Garza (Director of Marketing)

THE COMMITTEE (2012-2013)
OFFICERS: Rossalyn Quaye (Chair), Osmel Cuan (Vice-Chair), Jayson Lewis (Treasurer), Katy Benitez (Secretary), Stanley Montfort (Director of Alumni Communications), Ramona Ortega (Marketing Director)

AFFILIATED WITH THE FORDHAM CORPORATE LAW CENTER
FACULTY ADVISOR: Sean J. Griffith (T.J. Maloney Chair and Professor of  Law, Director of the Fordham Corporate Law Center)

ADDITIONAL FACULTY ADVISORS: Susan Block-Lieb, Assistant Dean Suzanne Endrizzi, Assistant Dean Nitza Escalera & Harold Moore

CORPORATE LAW CENTER ADVISOR: Ann Rakoff (Executive Director)

PROFESSIONAL ADVISOR: Barbara A. Lane (GE Capital, Managing Director & Securities Counsel, Americas)