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Global Connections - Volume 1, Issue 2


                              

Fordham Law Goes South of the Border

  Latin America is vital to Fordham Law School's continued global growth. A contingent of Law School administrators and faculty, led by Dean William Michael Treanor, recently traveled to Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico to develop ideas for enhancing the School's presence in Latin America.
"Latin America is a very important focus of Fordham Law's increasing international presence," said Dean Treanor. "Having a global perspective and a geographically diverse student population is vital for the Law School's future, so we are always excited to establish new relationships around the world and renew our friendships with international alumni."

Dinners were held in three cities—Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and São Paulo—where the Law School is in the process of establishing regional alumni chapters. In Sao Paulo, more than fifty alumni and friends traveled from all over Brazil to join Dean Treanor along with Professor Tanya Hernandez, Assistant Dean for International and Non-J.D. Programs Toni M. Fine, and Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations Michael Schiumo. In attendance were various friends and alumni of the Law School—including LL.M. alumni, Summer Institute participants, visiting scholars and research fellows, and participants from the International Judicial Research and Training program.

"Reuniting with so many alumni from our various programs is energizing," said Assistant Dean Fine. "It is exciting to see the enthusiasm that exists for Fordham around the world."

While in Brazil, Dean Treanor signed a historic memorandum of understanding with officials from the Escola Paulista de Magistratura in São Paulo. The memorandum recognizes the importance of globalization in legal practice, the rise of Brazil as a major economic power, and the importance of U.S. law. It commits both institutions to encouraging academic cooperation through research and study and through the exchange of information and materials. Specifically, Fordham Law hopes to develop a course with the Escola Paulista de Magistratura for justices and judges from São Paulo State. This course would be taught at Fordham Law and would be part of the Law School’s International Judicial Research and Training program.

In Mexico City, Dean Treanor appeared on Canal Judicial, Mexico's Supreme Court television channel, to discuss the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court and why her presence on the Court is important. 

The Dean also gave lectures at Universidad Panamericana and University of San Andres, spoke with leaders of Universidad Católica in Buenos Aires, and met with the dean and the head of international programs at the law school of the Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo.

Say Hello to the 2010 LL.M. Class

Javier Edwards
Country: Chile
Degree Pursuing: Banking, Corporate & Finance Law
Previous Degrees Earned: First law degree from University of Chile (Santiago), Certificate in Trade Finance and International Business Transactions from University of Barcelona, LL.M. in European Union Law from Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Current Position: Executive Director, Legal Services Department, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), S.A. New York Branch
Why he chose Fordham: Javier knows that legal education, like any industry in New York, is competitive. After doing extensive research on his options, his decision came down to Fordham having the most complete education. He says the course listings are more interesting than at other law schools, and the reputation of the faculty is well known.
His not-so-secret other life: Javier is a distinguished literary critic and writer. His pieces have appeared in over a half dozen publications, including Chile's El Mercurio. He's also currently working on a novel.
Similarities between being a critic and a lawyer: "Literature and law, in many ways, are connected," Javier says. "It's all fundamentally about language."

Katia Fach Gómez
Country: Spain
Degree Pursuing: International Business & Trade Law
Background: Katia's father is German, and her mother is Spanish. She was raised in Germany and received her first law degree in Spain at the Universidad Zaragoza, where she has been teaching law for almost ten years. She is now a full professor there. Katia is studying at Fordham Law under a full scholarship by Caja Madrid.
How she found out about Fordham: While attending Columbia Law as a visiting scholar in environmental and international trade law, Katia worked with Professor Alejandro Garro, whom Dean Fine had invited to speak at Fordham Law.
Contrasting Spanish and U.S. legal education: Katia notices differences in the way classes are conducted. In Spain, the professor does most of the talking, whereas in the States, professors expect more participation from the students. As Katia puts it, "Students [in the U.S.] are more active—more engaged—because the system forces them to be."
Summer plans: Katia was chosen as a Leitner Intern and will spend ten weeks working in New York and Ecuador with Steven Donziger, the lead U.S. attorney for 30,000 Ecuadoreans who claim oil drilling by Texaco polluted portions of the country's Amazon Basin.

Alex Jorge
Country: Brazil
Degree Pursuing: Banking, Corporate & Finance Law
Status: Alex is enrolled in the part-time LL.M. program so that he can continue working as a tax attorney for Avon Products, Inc. in Rye, New York.
How he found about Fordham: Alex's friend recommended Fordham to him, and Alex was impressed by the flexibility of the program. He also appreciates the breadth of courses available in tax law, corporations, and finance.
Contrasting Brazilian and U.S. legal systems/education: Aside from the broad fact that Brazil abides by civil law and the United States is a common law country, Alex notes more specific pedagogical differences. In Brazil, professors do not typically give assignments for the next class meeting. "There is much more class preparation in advance here [in the United States]," says Alex. Also, Brazilian professors are not as accessible as their U.S. counterparts, and they don't rely on the Socratic method in their classes; students are expected to listen and take notes. As Alex figuratively puts its, "In Brazil, the professor is god."
Did you know? Law students in Brazil do not choose any elective courses until their final year.

Wakako Kumagai-Sekiyama
Country: Japan
Degree Pursuing: Intellectual Property & Information Technology Law
Current Position: Associate at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, one of the top law firms in Japan; Wakako works with domestic and international clients on a range of legal matters, including international and domestic transactions, intellectual property litigation, and IP license agreements.
How she found out about Fordham: A former colleague of Wakako's is an alum of Fordham's LL.M program and encouraged Wakako to apply. After Dean Fine visited Wakako's law firm in Tokyo, she knew it would be the right fit for her.
Did you know? Until recently, becoming a lawyer in Japan was no easy task due to the notorious difficulty of its bar exam. When Wakako passed the bar in 2000, the passage rate was only 2.75%. After that, in 2004, Japan introduced the law school system in order to produce more lawyers. Under the newly introduced law school system, the passage rate of the bar exam for law school graduates was 20.99% in 2009. 

Meet Our International Faculty


Dominique Carreau holds the William Hughes Mulligan Chair in International Legal Studies and is a self-proclaimed "New York addict." This is his second time visiting Fordham Law; he was a first-time Mulligan Chair holder in Fall 2000.

A distinguished scholar in international economic law, Professor Carreau brings a wealth of expertise from professional practice and academia. He is the former dean of the University of Paris X (Nanterre) Law School and practiced international business law and securities law for more than 30 years with Shearman & Sterling. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Sorbonne, where he was the International Law Chair from 1979 – 2007.

At Fordham Law, Professor Carreau teaches International Trade Law and International Investment Law. Since he began teaching more than thirty years ago, he has seen LL.M. programs explode in popularity. "They're no longer just a curiosity," he says.

He also notes the differences between the U.S. and European legal education systems. In Paris, for instance, it was not unusual for him to have upwards of 400 students in a class. At Fordham, his classes are small enough that he can really get to know his students.

When he contrasts U.S. and European law students, Professor Carreau uses a metaphor from fine art. He compares U.S. students to the Dutch school of painting: analytical and detail-oriented. European students are more like Impressionists; they see more general spaces and understand broader patterns. No matter where his students are from, Professor Carreau has always enjoyed the intellectual challenge of teaching.

Pablo Palazzi not only visited Fordham Law as a professor—teaching Comparative IP & IT—but also attended as a student. He graduated from the Law School with an LL.M in 2000. Before that in 1995, he received his law degree from Catholic University in Argentina.

Professor Palazzi currently works at Allende & Brea in Buenos Aires, where he heads the intellectual property and information technology department. He has advised a variety of international companies on all aspects of electronic commerce, trademark, patents, trade secrets, data protection, and outsourcing agreements.

Professor Palazzi is glad to have played dual roles as both teacher and student at Fordham Law. "They were terrific experiences," he says. "Working with foreign and U.S. students—either as another student or as a teacher—broadens your perspective about the law."

He has written widely on issues involving information law, privacy and data protection, credit reporting law, computer crimes, unfair competition law, freedom of information law, and search engine law. He co-authored the Data Protection Bill of the City of Buenos Aires, the draft Arbitration Rules for domain names in the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Argentina, and he has been actively involved in the passage of the computer crimes law (law 26.388). He has collaborated representing the Ministry of Economy in the drafting of the digital signature bill and the data protection act of Argentina and its regulations. He has also written six books exploring technology law subjects.

Professor Palazzi learned about Fordham Law in 1998 when Professor Whitmore Gray visited Buenos Aires and encouraged him to apply. He also read the IP and IT research of Professor Joel Reidenberg. "I became interested in studying and later developing data protection law in my country," Professor Palazzi says.

In addition to his legal interests, Professor Palazzi is an industrial property agent and a computer programmer. He also maintains two blogs about law and technology.

Guido Smorto is visiting Fordham Law from Italy, where he is Associate Professor of Comparative Law at Palermo Law Faculty and Director of the Ph.D. Program in Comparative Law at the University of Palermo. He received a Ph.D. in Comparative Law at the University of Florence and has been Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School and Visiting Researcher at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London.

Professor Smorto's main research interests include comparative law, European law, law and economics, anthropology, contract, and torts. He is an attorney at law and member of the Italian State Bar, former officer of Bankitalia (Italian central bank), and has published works in Italian, English, and French.

He describes the Italian legal education environment as more theoretical and dogmatic than that of the United States; consequently, while at Fordham Law, he has adopted a more anti-dogmatic approach to teaching Comparative Law. Instead of simply lecturing at his students and making numerous assertions, he provides his students with the basic tools to understand transnational issues. In this way, they are able to manage the course material on their own.

Professor Smorto also appreciates the diversity of his class at Fordham Law. The students, he says, are much more heterogeneous in the United States than in Italy: "The different geographic and racial origins of the students here help me to better explain the issues involved in comparative law."

Whether his students are from Italy or the United States, Professor Smorto notes that his particular field of law constantly forces them to reevaluate their respective beliefs: "Comparative law challenges national, embedded notions." His material, then, makes for some exciting classroom discussions, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Dean Fine's World Travels

Where has Dean Fine travelled this past year to give lectures or classes?
  • Cologne, Germany: as a speaker at the seminar for prospective LL.M. students hosted by the German American Lawyers Association, of which Dean Fine is a member of the Board
  • São Paulo, Brazil: at Fundacion Getulio Vargas School of Law
  • Puebla, Mexico: at the University of Monterrey
  • Recife, Brazil: at Escola Superior da Magistratura de Pernambuco
  • Budapest, Hungary: at Central European University and ELTE University
  • Pecs, Hungary: at the University of Pecs
  • Bucharest, Romania: as a speaker at the University of Bucharest
  • Barcelona, Spain: at the Parliament of Catalonia
  • Pamplona, Spain: at the University of Navarra
  • Madrid, Spain: at a conference organized by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP)
  • Ciudad Victoria, Mexico: at the Third Mexican Congress on Constitutional Procedural Law
  • Lima, Peru: at the Tenth Iberoamerican Conference on Constitutional Law

An Eventful Semester

 
   
  LL.M. events at the beginning of 2010 included the following:
  • The LL.M. networking reception, which brought together hundreds of current and former LL.M. students
  • International Wine Night with the Global Law Society in March
  • Visits to the courtroom of Judge Deborah A. Batts of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Students observed motions and a trial and had the chance to meet personally with Judge Batts, formerly a Professor at Fordham Law. 
  • A social mixer with J.D. students at a local bar in April
  • Lunches with Assistant Dean Toni M. Fine
  • Seminars on diverse topics ranging from "Catastrophe-Linked Securities and Capital Markets" to "Corporate Accountability within the Human Rights Regime" to "U.S. and European Perspectives on Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality."

   

LL.M. Teaching Fellows Program

Fordham Law has established a Teaching Fellow Program for graduates of the School's LL.M. program. The program will allow a select group of recent LL.M. graduates to teach a semester-long course at the Law School.

"This unique program will showcase our fantastic LL.M. students and complement our already robust comparative and international curriculum," said Toni M. Fine, Assistant Dean for International and Non-J.D. Programs.

The chosen LL.M. graduates will teach a two-credit seminar of their own design, and the courses will be open to both J.D. and LL.M. students at the Law School. The teaching fellows will also receive a stipend and will be able to take advantage of faculty support services.

"Our LL.M. graduates are a remarkably talented group," said Dean William Michael Treanor. "Having them share their knowledge and expertise in front of the classroom with other Fordham Law students will be a boon to our academic program."

Three LL.M. graduates have been chosen as the inaugural Teaching Fellows: Lenore Horton, Roxana Popescu, and Michael Uwaechie.

Horton, from the United States, will teach a class on the Law of Peace and State-Building. A former corporate litigator, she became interested in pursuing an LL.M. in International Law and Justice after working on several pro bono cases involving criminal law, national security, and human rights. She plans on incorporating lessons learned there in her curriculum: "We will be analyzing case studies of conflicts in countries like Ireland, Israel, and Cyprus in order to put the legal rules of peace and state-building into contemporary contexts."

Popescu, a native of Romania, received her primary legal degree from Germany and later completed an internship with the Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union. She will teach Harmonization of Private International Law. In designing the course, she scrutinized Fordham's existing international law offerings and identified a curricular opportunity in private international law: "This is a very important field that deals with any type of legal relationship that includes a foreign element, such as foreign transactions."

Uwaechie, from Nigeria, will teach Public-Private Partnerships in Anglo Africa. This course will provide a survey of the public sector engagement with the private sector and examine how different fields of law, including corporate and tax laws, inform them. Uwaechie had substantive experience dealing with these partnerships before coming to Fordham, and he is excited to teach a topic with which he has professional experience but that is not often studied in the United States: "I hope to showcase the recent trend in government procurement and management of public infrastructures and utilities with particular emphasis on its peculiarities in some Anglo-African jurisdictions."

Learn more about the Teaching Fellow program.

Fordham Competition Law Institute

In 2006, FCLI established a training center for antitrust/competition law officials, judges, and policymakers from around the world. The training center offers unique summer training programs taught by a globally diverse faculty composed of competition authority staff, judges, and academics with experience in competition law enforcement. These highly successful programs are open to participants from newer competition regimes as well as more experienced jurisdictions.

Professor Barry Hawk, who taught at Fordham Law from 1968-1990, recently returned to the Law School as Director of FCLI. Even while Professor Hawk was practicing antitrust law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (from 1990-2009), he was never far from his work with FCLI, with which he has been intimately involved since its inception in the 1970s. He's happy to be back at Fordham "on the third floor, where [he's] always been," and Fordham is glad to have him back.

Learn more about the FCLI Summer Programs.

Visiting Foreign Scholars and Research Fellows

Fordham Law’s program for Foreign Scholars and Research Fellows has hosted more than 50 international legal professionals within the past six months. The Law School hosts a seminar series where these visitors—judges, law professors, and other prominent legal practitioners—can share their research with colleagues. Recent presentations including the following:
  • Professor Vahit Bicak (Bilkent University, Turkey)
    An Overview of Organized Crime
  • Dr. Kyong-Soo Choe (Copyright Commission, Korea)
    Implications of Digital Technology on Copyright Law
  • Professor Frank Emmert (Center for International and Comparative Law, Indiana University Law School)
    Democracy for Development: Misunderstood and Overrated?
  • Professor Pablo Iannello (Universidad Austral, Argentina)
    Intellectual Property and Comparative Law from a Latin American Perspective
  • Judge Gi Cheol Jeon (Suwon District Court, South Korea)
    International Bankruptcy Law
  • Hee Hwan Kwon (Republic of Korean Commercial Arbitration Board)
    A Comparative Look at Approaches to ADR in Korea and the U.S.
  • Professor Lih-Jen Lin Shieh (Kainan University, Taiwan)
    E-Commerce and Mistake in Price by Internet Sellers
  • Professor Eduardo Ribeiro Moreira (University Federal of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
    Constitutional Amendments: A Comparative Perspective
  • Professor Mika Okochi (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Japan)
    Limits to Extraterritorial Jurisdiction –Theory and Practice
  • Nurlan Sarsenov (Legal Advisor for IFC, Kazakhstan)
    Adopting Institutional Shareholder Activism in Kazakhstan
  • Salma Talman (Cairo University, Egypt)
    Principles of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence
  • Professor Lydia Tobiasova (Comenius University, Slovakia)
    Criminal Law Reform in Slovakia
  • Giuseppe Vacago (Universita Degli Studi Dell’Insubria, Italy)
    Criminal Liability for Internet Intermediaries in Europe: A First Case Study in Italy
  • Etta Yellin (Attorney and Deputy Registrar of Cooperatives, State of Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade and Employment)
    The Legal and Social Characteristics of the Kibbutz

International Visitor Leadership Program

In support of the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program—an exchange program designed to reflect the participants' professional interests and support U.S. foreign policy goals—Fordham Law has hosted delegations from a range of countries around the world: Cameroon (judges, lawyers, and NGO leaders), Jerusalem (law professors from Al Quds University), Argentina (judges and court personnel), Vietnam (government officials, professors, and attorneys), and China (government officials, attorneys, and law professors). In addition, Fordham hosted three multi-regional groups: one whose focus was on intellectual property law; one group of journalists; and one group of women from 14 countries studying women’s access to justice.