Global Connections - Volume 5, Issue 1
This edition of Global Connections brings excitement on many fronts. Last month, we commemorated 25 years of the LL.M. program with a wonderful celebration that brought back to Fordham Law School alumni spanning many years of our Master of Laws programs.
More than 100 LL.M. graduates came from around the world to celebrate the program and each other. The event was for us an emotional reminder of all that the program has achieved in its first quarter century and, especially, of the wonderful community of alumni and students that are the heart and soul of this program. We are also excited that the LL.M. program offerings continue to expand. This semester we welcomed the first cohort of students in the new LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution. Additionally, the Law School recently received approvals for a new Master of Laws in Corporate Compliance, a field of growing importance and complexity in the United States and in many other regions around the world. We believe this to be the first Master of Laws program in the United States to focus on Corporate Compliance. We plan to launch the program in fall 2014.
Finally, the entire Law School community is excited about the new building currently under construction. Located immediately to the west of our current building, the new building will more than double the instructional space we currently have and will provide state-of-the-art facilities in a magnificent structure that embodies the excellence of Fordham Law School. I hope that you will enjoy reading this edition of Global Connections.
An Enthusiastic Welcome to our 25th Incoming Fall LL.M. ClassThis semester Fordham Law welcomed its 25th fall class of LL.M. students. The first LL.M. class in 1989 had 26 students from 17 countries; the current class is composed of 136 students who received their primary law degrees from 33 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, P.R. China, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, the Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela.
These students join a class of 41 returning LL.M. students for a total of 177 currently enrolled LL.M. students. This figure includes our first cohort of students in our newest LL.M. degree in International Dispute Resolution.
Over the past 25 years, we have been fortunate to consistently welcome students representing diverse global backgrounds and talents. We look forward to the contributions of the 25th incoming fall class to the Fordham community this academic year and to our growing LL.M. alumni community after graduation.
Congratulations to our 2013 Graduating ClassLast spring, Fordham Law School awarded the LL.M. degree to 176 LL.M. students. The Law School Diploma Ceremony was held at the iconic Radio City Music Hall on May 19. Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, delivered the keynote address and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Law School diplomas were conferred by Fordham Law Dean Michael M. Martin.
We were honored to host a cocktail reception for our graduates before the Law School Diploma Ceremony. The reception was a great occasion to celebrate our graduates, and we were delighted to welcome friends and family who flew in from around the world for the ceremony. We congratulate our graduates and welcome them into our extensive alumni community worldwide!
LL.M. Program Celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a Big Apple CelebrationFordham Law recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the LL.M. program with a fantastic two-day event at the Law School. The celebration included a cocktail reception, academic program, and celebratory dinner.
Dean Michael M. Martin launched the festivities with opening remarks at the cocktail reception. The event was a celebration of the history of the LL.M. program and a thank you to the approximately 2,000 graduates from 100 countries that have created and sustained an incredibly diverse and dynamic LL.M. program. In recognition of the importance of the program’s alumni and students, Dean Martin presented a banner that now hangs in Platt Atrium with the name of every LL.M. graduate throughout the program’s 25-year history.
The panel ended with a question and answer period. A festive dinner in the Law School’s atrium concluded the weekend’s festivities.
LL.M. Alumni Profile: Alejandro Cremades (LL.M. ’09)When Alejandro Cremades began his LL.M. studies, he was just finishing his law degree in Spain and seeking to jump-start his legal career in New York. He was able to do just that when he was offered a position as an associate at the New York office of King & Spalding, where he worked on high profile arbitration cases for three years.
In 2012, Cremades decided to leave King & Spalding to pursue another professional passion. He launched RockthePost.com, an online investment platform that matches early stage startups with accredited investors. Since March 2013, RockthePost’s startups collectively have raised more than $6 million. In the short time since its launch, Cremades’s project has attracted a great deal of attention, garnering favorable reviews from such prominent publications as Time, Forbes, and Business Insider. Real estate mogul and angel investor Barbara Corcoran described RockThePost as “the future of startup investing.”
“With the passing of the JOBS Act, we couldn't be at a better time in history,” says Cremades. “The rules are changing and now startups will be allowed to generally solicit from the public in addition to receiving investments from non-accredited investors. We feel very lucky to be riding the wave of a completely new industry that is expected to be as large as $300 billion.” A vocal proponent of the JOBS Act, Cremades testified before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, and has also been invited to prestigious business schools to discuss the importance of the JOBS Act and how platforms like RockThePost can contribute in a significant way to the nation’s economy.
Although he is no longer in law practice, Cremades recognizes his time at Fordham Law School as playing an important role in his current success. He has drawn upon his Fordham education in his advocacy for the JOBS Bill, which included drafting comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He remains in contact with many of his former classmates and tries to attend events and get-togethers whenever possible. “Without a doubt, there are very exciting times ahead with RockThePost, and none of this would have been possible without the education I received from Fordham Law School,” says Cremades. “I will always be grateful to the entire staff and my former classmates for the wonderful training and unforgettable memories.”
LL.M. Student Profile: Dr. Söntje Julia Hilberg (LL.M. ’14)As a German lawyer and Senior Associate in the Dusseldorf office of the global law firm of Taylor Wessing, Dr. Söntje Hilberg came to Fordham with an already successful practice advising clients in the information technology and telecommunications industries on issues related to software, licensing, and e-commerce, among other things, and serving as the data protection officer for Taylor Wessing Germany.
But with her international clients, many of whom have ties to the United States, she felt that she—and her clients—would benefit from additional training in the U.S. legal system. When she began exploring her options, she found that Fordham Law School was a natural fit. “The LL.M. is, worldwide, the most recognized title to show a lawyer's qualification in international areas,” says Hilberg. “Fordham Law School offers an LL.M. degree in Intellectual Property and Information Technology with very interesting classes in the field of IT law and technology related matters. For this reason, Fordham Law School was highly recommended by a number of my colleagues and friends working in this field.”
Hilberg began the program in January 2013 and appreciates Fordham’s focus on providing students with a well-rounded experience, comprising excellent academic opportunities (including a wide range of classes and the internationally recognized Intellectual Property Institute), as well as opportunities to connect in a number of ways with J.D. students, professors, and New York legal practitioners.
She looks forward to becoming involved with the Fordham Law alumni network upon graduation and anticipates that the training, education, and contacts she has gained through Fordham Law will be invaluable as she continues on her career path in Germany.
European Alumni Chapter Convenes in Vienna, Looks Ahead to AmsterdamIn June, members of the European Chapter of the Fordham Law Alumni Association gathered in Vienna for a reunion that included a cocktail reception, academic program, and celebratory dinner. The academic program was held at the beautiful Permanent Mission of Hungary to the International Organizations in Vienna, hosted by Ambassador Balazs Csuday (LL.M. '08), and featured a panel of experts that included the following:
Fordham Law Professor Martin Gelter and Avv. Pierantonio Musso (LL.M. '10), restructuring and insolvency associate at Lombardi Molinari e Associati, Studio Legale, moderated the discussion.
The meeting concluded with a lively dinner celebration featuring traditional Viennese food and music. Several members of the Fordham Law School administration traveled to Austria for the event, including Dean Michael M. Martin, Vice Dean Sheila Foster, Vice President Vera Bullock, Assistant Dean Toni Jaeger-Fine, and Director Kandice Thorn.
The event would not have been possible without the generosity of Ambassador Csuday and the active engagement of FLAA European Chapter President Wolfgang Schoenig (LL.M. '10) and our country representatives in Europe.
Following on the success of this event, the European Alumni Chapter will convene again this summer in Amsterdam the weekend of June 27-28, 2014. Please save the date, and visit the event webpage for additional information.
Fordham Law Launches LL.M. Externship ProgramWe are excited to introduce the LL.M. Externship Program, launched in fall 2013. This program gives LL.M. students the opportunity to engage in for-credit externships with a wide variety of host organizations, including nonprofit organizations, corporate legal and compliance departments, government agencies, and law firms.
LL.M. externs enroll in an LL.M. Externship Fieldwork course as well as the Law Practice Seminar for LL.M. Students, a course exploring various topics and skills that will help students succeed in their field placements. For the fall 2013 semester, LL.M. students are engaged in externship placements with the Open Society Foundations and The Harry Fox Agency, Inc.
Law firms and other institutions that are interested in hosting one or more externs should email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to become approved as a host institution and to advertise externship positions to our students. Additional information about this program can be found here.
Fordham Law to Offer Bridge-the-Gap CLE Course in JanuaryDuring the weekend of January 11–12, 2014, Fordham Law School will offer a Bridge-the-Gap CLE course. This program is designed especially for attorneys who are within the first two years of admission to the New York bar. It offers 16 transitional CLE credits in a live classroom setting (7 Professional Practice/Practice Management credits, 6 Skills credits, and 3 Ethics credits) and is designed to meet the CLE requirements for the first two years of New York bar admission. The program will be offered free of charge to Fordham Law alumni who are in their first two years of New York bar admission; all other alumni receive a 50% discount on the registration fee.
Additional information about the program can be found here.
LLM-United Celebrates First AnniversaryLLM-United is celebrating its first anniversary and welcomes 273 members from all around the world. LLM-United was founded by Desiree Jaeger-Fine, a 2013 Fordham Law graduate, and is the first online networking community for current and prospective LL.M. students as well as alumni.
LLM-United's mission is to connect the entire LL.M. community on one single platform to share ideas and learn from colleagues. Membership is entirely free of charge. LLM-United hosts free webinars with expert speakers in professional development, networking, job search strategies, and study tips. LLM-United also publishes a variety of articles focused on studying during the LL.M. and life after receiving the degree.
LLM-United was recently profiled in the National Jurist and the team is excited about the future.
Summer Institute Celebrates its Seventh YearIn 2013, the Fordham Law Summer Institute in New York City welcomed 126 participants from 29 countries. As in past years, the 2013 Summer Institute provided an introduction to the U.S. legal system and to fields of U.S. law that are most important to today's global lawyers, including antitrust law, bankruptcy law, civil procedure, compliance, constitutional law, contract law, corporate law, evidence, information technology law, intellectual property law, international arbitration, mergers and acquisitions, product liability law, securities law, and tort law. The program also featured legal English workshops and special sessions on applying to and preparing for an LL.M. program in the United States.
In addition to their coursework, participants visited federal bankruptcy court in Brooklyn, where they observed hearings in the courtroom of the Honorable Elizabeth S. Stong; and the New York office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where they learned about the work of several of the firm's attorneys. Following tradition, the program ended with a celebratory dinner, where certificates of completion were awarded.
We are currently accepting applications for the Eighth Annual Summer Institute, which will take place July 7–25, 2014. Visit the Summer Institute web page for additional information, including an online application form.
Global Practitioners Forum: U.S. Law for Transnational PracticeThe 2014 Global Practitioners Forum: U.S. Law for Transnational Practice program (formerly Recent Developments in U.S. Law) will take place during the week of July 14, with an optional Introduction to the U.S. Legal System seminar offered on Sunday, July 13. This program will feature visits to law firms where participants learn from leaders in their respective fields about cutting-edge developments in U.S. law that may impact transnational practice. These visits are often accompanied by lunches or cocktail receptions where participants have the opportunity to network with each other and with New York-based attorneys.
The program also features a roundtable of several in-house lawyers discussing their work as corporate counsel.
The following firms were gold sponsors/hosts of the 2013 Recent Developments program:
The following organizations were affiliates of the program:
In addition, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations supported this program with its public relations efforts in Japan.
Fordham Law Launches Corporate Compliance InstituteFordham Law’s inaugural Corporate Compliance Institute, held from July 8–26, 2013, attracted 27 participants, who learned the basic aspects of compliance and the role of the corporate compliance office in implementing and evaluating programs designed to comply with statutory, regulatory, and company rules, and the dissemination of such programs among management. This intensive compliance training program, run by Professor Sean J. Griffith and Executive Director Carole Basri, included site visits to Morgan Stanley, Jones Day, J.P. Morgan, and Bloomberg. Attendees heard from top executives at leading businesses, including Time Warner, American Express, Dell, IBM, Citigroup, MasterCard, and many prominent law firms. Topics explored included risk assessment, attorney-client privilege, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, global codes of conduct, crisis management, deferred prosecution and non-prosecution agreements, and corporate social responsibility.
International Judicial Research and Training Program Welcomes Two Delegations from BrazilFrom May 15–24, Fordham Law welcomed a delegation organized by Brazil’s Escola Nacional da Magistratura. This program covered topics including an introduction to U.S. judicial systems, judicial accountability and independence, class action litigation, intellectual property law, information technology law, domestic violence, bankruptcy law, and mediation. The participants visited the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and a small claims court. A cocktail reception was hosted for the group at the law firm Duane Morris. In addition, the delegation spent a day in Washington, D.C., where they received special briefings at both the Federal Judicial Center and the U.S. Supreme Court.
From June 10–18, Fordham Law welcomed a delegation organized by the Centro de Estudos Judiciários in Recife. We are delighted that the Pernambuco judiciary chose Fordham Law as the venue for this program for the fifth consecutive year. The program covered topics including an introduction to U.S. judicial systems, class action litigation, copyright law, privacy and data security, constitutional torts, bioethics, crime prevention, domestic violence, and torts. The participants visited the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York. The law firm of King & Spalding welcomed the group and held a discussion on international arbitration.
We welcome inquiries from other judiciaries that may like our International Judicial Research and Training Program to develop a program that meets their specific needs and interests. Contact Assistant Dean Toni Jaeger-Fine at email@example.com for more information.
Visiting Scholars and Research Fellows ProgramEach year, Fordham Law welcomes some 100 distinguished visitors to the Law School to pursue independent research. The program strives to fully integrate these visitors into our community and provide them with a complete experience—one that includes a colloquium at which visitors present their research, study groups on topics of interest to current visitors, and occasional happy hours or other social events.
Recent presentations at the Visiting Scholar and Research Fellows Colloquium include the following:
Visiting Research Fellow Profile: Norihisa KatoNorihisa Kato holds both a Bachelors and a Masters Degree in Engineering from the University of Tokyo. Since graduating, he has been working as a patent examiner in the Japan Patent Office (JPO), where he deals not only with patent examinations, but also with planning the intellectual property law and policy of Japan. In July 2012, the JPO sponsored Kato’s visit to Fordham Law School to study U.S. intellectual property law and policy as well as conduct research regarding comparative patent law. In particular, his research goal is to identify the differences between the Japanese and U.S. patent law systems and explore the possibility of harmonizing them.
When asked why he chose Fordham Law School, Kato pointed to “brilliant professors, such as Professor Hugh C. Hansen, who is one of the most well-known IP scholars” and to the Intellectual Property Institute and its annual conference which is “known around the world for holding vigorous discussions on the most cutting-edge IP trends.”
Kato has now been at Fordham Law for over a year, and in that time he has had a great experience. Participating in the Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow program has allowed him to converse with colleagues from all over the world and has broadened his perspective in a way that he describes as having been “truly enjoyable and rewarding.” He also noted that the various symposia sponsored by the Intellectual Property Institute and the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal have greatly benefited his research. Moreover, he has found the faculty to be very supportive. In addition, Kato said that the staff has been “extremely friendly and helpful” in helping him navigate auditing courses and other administrative matters.
Of course, one of the great aspects of Fordham Law is its location in New York City. Kato says that he has very much enjoyed exploring the city. When asked what the best part of living here has been, Kato said, “taking my 1-year-old daughter to Central Park, which is just a stone's throw away from Fordham Law.”