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Global Connections: the e-newsletter for international and non-J.D. programs
Spring 2021
Welcome to the Spring 2021 edition of Global ENews, a publication of the Office of International and Non-J.D. Programs of Fordham Law School.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this semester continues to offer a blend of in-person and online learning. Our students have demonstrated incredible resilience and have adapted to our current realities—and have done so with enthusiasm and grace.
Our degree programs remain incredibly strong, despite the pandemic. This semester we welcomed 104 new graduate students to our community: 54 LL.M. students in our 9 degree specializations, including in our new online program in Corporate Compliance; and 50 in our online M.S.L. program in Corporate Compliance.
Among our new students, we welcome this year’s recipient of the William Michael Treanor Scholarship, Maria Milagros Astesaiano; a Fulbright Scholar, Juan Ferreira; and two Vivian Leitner Global South Scholars: Noah Ephraem Adamtey and Samantha Brener. Milagros earned her LL.B. from the Argentine Catholic University in Buenos Aires and is an associate in the intellectual property litigation department of Marval O´Farrell & Mairal; Juan, a participant in last semester’s Fordham Legal English Institute, earned his LL.B. from the University of Buenos Aires and has served for many years as an attorney in the Council of Magistrates of the City of Buenos Aires. Noah earned his LL.B. from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana and worked at the African Centre of International Criminal Justice, as a member of the Secretariat of the African Centre on Law and Ethics, and the Judicial Service of Ghana. Sam earned her LL.B. from the University of Witwatersrand, clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and worked at the Constitutional Litigation Unit of the Legal Resources Centre and at SECTION 27, where she engaged in litigation and advocacy focused on ensuring fulfilment of the right to basic education.
Connecting students with us and with each other remains at the heart of our mission, and we have ensured that our community remains as tight knit as ever through regular informal conversations and virtual coffees with students; Toni Talks, a series of lectures delivered by Toni Jaeger-Fine; and Friday Fitness with Toni, a series of body weight fitness classes designed to show everyone how easy and fun it is to stay fit!
In addition, we hosted our 4th annual International Affinity Group Mock Interview Program and Networking Event. We are so grateful to the more than 30 friends and alumni who did mock interviews with our students and attended our virtual networking event in January.
We also continue our LL.M. Professionalism Program featuring LL.M. graduates and friends sharing insights on the practice and professionalism with our students. Our speakers (past or confirmed for the coming months) include the following:
  • Michele Cea (LL.M. ’11) (Italy) (partner, Cea Legal P.C.)
  • Jaime Chavez Alor (Mexico) (Latin America policy director, Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice)
  • Maria da Paz Tierno Lopes (LL.M. ’00) (Brazil) (partner, Barbosa, Mussnich, Aragao)
  • Ranshitha Devendran (LL.M. ’20) (United Kingdom) (criminal law associate, Queens District Attorney’s Office)
  • Rowena Dungca (LL.M. ’13) (Austria) (associate, Wuersch & Gering)
  • Danila Duo (LL.M. ’10) (Italy) (vice president, in-house legal counsel, Intesa Sanpaolo)
  • Damasia Escudero (LL.M. ’15) (Argentina) (Clifford Chance)
  • Palmina Fava (J.D. ’97) (U.S.) (partner, Vinson & Elkins)
  • Thais Garcia (LL.M. ’16) (Brazil) (partner, Clifford Chance)
  • Kaspar Kielland (LL.M. ’07) (Italy) (associate, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP)
  • Barbara Levi (LL.M. ’01) (Italy) (chief legal, governance & ethics Officer, Rio Tinto)
  • Quentin Marchal (LL.M. ’19) (France) (tax associate, Berdon LLP)
  • Alejandro Martinez de Hoz (LL.M. ‘15) (Argentina) (international associate, White and Case)
  • Lisa Matsue (J.D. ’18) (U.S.) (associate, Torys LLP)
  • Maria-Leticia Ossa-Daza (LL.M. ’09) (France) (partner, Willkie Farr)
  • Daniel Rios Zertuche (LL.M. ’19) (Mexico) (associate, Milbank LLP)
  • Saleh Mohammad Shafi (LL.M. ’18) (Bangladesh) (assistant protection officer at UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency)
  • Jermaine Spence (LL.M. ’11) (Jamaica) (manager, tax governance in wealth and personal banking, HSBC)
  • Mia Stark (Brazil) (CEO, Gazit Brasil)
  • Sheea Sybblis (J.D. ’05) (U.S.) (associate general counsel, Nestle Health Science)
  • Adrian Wright (LL.M. ’17) (United Kingdom) (mortgage origination advice and guidance & regulatory change management, Morgan Stanley)
In addition to these practicing attorneys, we were particularly honored to welcome a number of sitting judges to meet our students. Judge Denny Chin (J.D. ’78) (United States Court of Appeals for Second Circuit) spoke with our students about his experiences as a judge on the federal court of appeals; Judge Robert E. Bacharach (United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit) led a conversation with our students on the art of persuasion; and Justice Manuel J. Mendez (Foreign Law Graduate Program ’89) (associate justice, Appellate Division, Supreme Court of New York) spoke with our students about his journey from foreign-trained law student to distinguished judge.
We are so grateful to all of these professionals for sharing their time and insights with our students.
Our students continue to be able to take advantage of the LL.M. externship program, through a mix of in-person and remote placements. Our graduate students currently have externships at Cea Legal PC; Haug Partners LLP; Human Rights Foundation; Mavrides, Moyal, Packman & Sadkiin; R3; International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID); United States Bankruptcy Court (EDNY); and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. We are so grateful to the hosts at these organizations for welcoming our students and providing an incorporable learning experience.
Please mark your calendars for our June 12 LL.M. and International Programs Reunion featuring remarks by Dean Matthew Diller; Alejandro Cremades (LL.M. ’09), a leading entrepreneur; and Assistant Dean Toni Jaeger-Fine. This event is scheduled at a time that should work for our graduates, wherever they are living. This event will be black tie optional, giving us all a chance to break out our evening wear!
We also look forward to celebrating our graduate students receiving their degree this spring. We will celebrate the accomplishments of 4 S.J.D. students, 87 LL.M. students, 28 in-person M.S.L. students, and 41 online M.S.L. students. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the Law School’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 23. On that same day, we will host a remote ceremony for graduating S.J.D., LL.M. and M.S.L. students and their families. On Monday, May 24, we plan to have an in-person diploma ceremony for Law School graduates at the Fordham Rose Hill campus.
Our non-degree programs also are thriving in this new environment.
This semester we launched our first program in Structural Issues in Law Firm Management in collaboration with the Brazilian law firm Mattos Filho. This virtual program brings together more than 200 participants from nearly 30 countries and hosts speakers from the following leading law firms and companies:
  • Akin Gump
  • Carey
  • Center for the Study of the Legal Profession
  • Cleary Gottlieb
  • Cravath
  • Creel
  • Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Fordham Law School
  • Gunderson Dettmer
  • Interpublic Group
  • Latham & Watkins
  • Macfarlanes
  • Mattos Filho
  • Milbank
  • Noerr
  • O’Melveny
  • Perez Llorca
  • Pfizer
  • Proskauer
  • Simpson Thacher
  • Skadden
  • Sullivan & Cromwell
  • Vinson & Elkins
  • White & Case
  • Willkie Farr
We are especially pleased that a number of program speakers are Fordham Law alumni: Ramzi Aboutaam (LL.M. ’16), vice president, International Legal Lead for the Emerging Markets, at Pfizer; Palmina M. Fava (J.D. ’97), partner at Vinson & Elkins; Kim Koopersmith (J.D. ’84), partner and chairperson at Akin Gump; Joseph M. McLaughlin (J.D. ’88), partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Maria-Leticia Ossa Daza (LL.M. ’09), partner/head of Latin America Practice at Willkie Farr & Gallagher; Antonio N. Piccirillo (J.D. ’95), partner and head of the São Paulo office of Proskauer; Amadeu Ribeiro (LL.M. ’17), partner and head of the New York office of Mattos Filho; and Scott S. Simpson (J.D. ’82), partner and co-head of global transactions practice at Skadden. We hope to announce the next iteration of this program in the coming months.
Our Legal English Institute this semester has an outstanding cohort of 15 students from 11 countries. Registration is now open for the fall semester, which will continue online.
Applications also are now open for the Summer Institute and the Pre-Law Institute, both of which will be online this summer. We look forward to welcoming students from the U.S. and around the world to these programs. The Pre-Law Institute will include 10 students that are part of the IDEAL Pipeline Program as part of Fordham Law’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Our program in Corporate Compliance continues to draw talented professionals and hosts a number of compliance-related events. Over 400 people attended our Spotlight on ESG webinar series in February, and we had 130 participants in our webinar on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for Small and Medium Enterprises, which featured Fordham alumni: Sixtine Bousquet-Lambert (LL.M. ’15) (France), Luke McGrath (J.D. ’96) (US), Carolina Pineda Martinez (LL.M. ’17) (Colombia). As part of our Leading Voices in Compliance series, students heard from four chief compliance officers across multiple sectors: Wayne McNulty (J.D. ’02) (healthcare), Maria Fernandez (energy), Jeff Horowitz (crypto), and Kurt Drake (consumer goods). In addition, we facilitated four “coffee chats” that paired members of the Fordham Law's Compliance Affinity group with small groups of students.
These and other compliance event will continue this summer. Registration is now open for our Summer Compliance Institute, which will run for three Saturdays in June. The program will introduce attendees to the major regulatory frameworks governing corporations in the United States, how corporate compliance programs protect companies against legal and reputational risks, and how cultures of compliance create value for companies, investors, and stakeholders alike. Lawyers and non-lawyers interested in compliance are welcome!
Two of our M.S.L. students, Regan Pennyback and Emily Binh Chau, were awarded an ECI Ethics Academy Scholarship. Regan and Emily will have access to the annual conference of the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (ECI) and all virtual events for the next year and can sit for the exam to be certified ethics and compliance professionals.
Looking ahead to fall, we expect to be fully back in person and look forward to resuming more normal academic and extra-curricular operations!
News from our Community:
  • Abena Armah-Gakpo (LL.M. ’21) welcomed her daughter, Aseda Audrey Gakpo, on November 19, 2020. Aseda arrived at 4:34pm, 7 pounds 8 ounces. We welcome her warmly to the Fordham Law community!
  • Helena Avignon (LL.M. ’21) will join Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as an associate in May.
  • Milagros Cecilia Lopez (LL.M. ’17) has joined Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP as an associate in its Investment Management department.
  • Adriana Daiuto (LL.M. ’19) has joined PAG Law’s New York office as Latin American counsel.
  • Ranshitha Devendran (LL.M. ’20) has joined the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office as a criminal law associate.
  • Marianna Haddad (LL.M. ’19) has been appointed as a diplomat at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Fizza Hasan (LL.M. ’21) will join Latham & Watkins as a banking finance associate in July.
  • Joshua Hofstetter (LL.M. ’20) has joined Harris Beach, PLLC as an associate in its Immigration Practice Group.
  • Altin Nonaj (LL.M. ’18) has launched Nonaj Law, a small firm focusing on business law, tax, immigration law, and intellectual property.
  • Emanuele Tozzi (LL.M. ’22) released a new jazz new album, Waltz Street, on February 22, 2021. Get a 20% discount with code FORDHAMFAMILY when purchasing vinyl or CD at www.waltzstreet.com.
* * * *
All told, despite the pandemic, we continue to remain strong as a community, thanks to the nimbleness of our students and the tremendous generosity of our alumni and friends.
We hope that wherever you are, you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. We look forward to welcoming you back to Fordham Law School soon!
Warm regards,
Toni Jaeger-Fine
Assistant Dean, International and Non-J.D. Programs
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