Clinic Highlights
Clinic Highlights

Fordham Law Clinic

Dedication to Serving the Underserved

Dear Colleagues, 

Recent events pose a challenge that we have never seen before—a global health pandemic combined with a national movement for racial justice. The students and faculty in our clinics are responding by working harder than ever to serve their clients with crucial legal counsel and representation and the development of innovative policy proposals. We are grateful for the driven clinicians here at Fordham Law and our colleagues in the greater law community for their unflagging dedication to serving the underserved. Thank you for your incredible work.

Michael W. Martin, Associate Dean for Experiential Education
Clinics Work to Help Prisoners Vulnerable to Coronavirus
The Federal Litigation Clinic and Criminal Defense Clinic have been working to secure the release of inmates whose medical conditions make them vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, as well as those whose sentences are almost complete and those who are being held while awaiting trial. They are arguing that all inmates are at risk of contracting COVID-19 because of how quickly it spreads in spaces where people are in close proximity to each other. Learn more.
Democracy Clinic Releases Reports Aimed at Checking Presidential Power
Seventeen law students in the Democracy Clinic conducted nearly 40 interviews with experts and policymakers as they researched and developed their recommendations. In addition to setting forth recommendations, the reports neutrally present relevant background information and legal analysis of the issues implicated in the reports. In six policy reports, the clinic calls for reforms to check presidential powers, improve ethics and transparency in government, and ensure fair and effective representation. Learn more.
School Dress Codes Still Disproportionately Affect Black and Gender Non-Conforming Girls
Professor Leah Hill shared her expert opinion with Supermajority on the many zero-tolerance dress codes in schools that disproportionately affect Black and gender non-conforming girls. Read more.
Immigrant Rights Clinic Wins Green Card Victory for Abuse Victim
Students, professors, and alumni from the Immigrants Rights Clinic worked for four years to win a green card for their client and her two daughters. The client's visa was dependent on her estranged husband, and the clinic stepped in to help her meet the requirements and put together sufficient evidence to remove the conditions on her residency.  Learn more. 
Federal Litigation Clinic Students Argue Appeal Before Second Circuit
Prior to the coronavirus shutdown, three Federal Litigation Clinic students had the remarkable and rare opportunity to argue an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Preparing and rehearsing for nearly two months, under the supervision of Professors Michael W. Martin and Ian Weinstein, the students immersed themselves in the law and the facts of a criminal case to primarily argue the unconstitutional vagueness of a New York State correctional rule. Learn more. 
Pro Bono Scholars Swear In Virtually 
Three Pro Bono Scholars from the class of 2020, Anna Aboody, Siobhan D‘Angelo, and Ciera Wilson, were admitted to the bar virtually during the coronavirus pandemic. Through the Pro Bono Scholars Progam, students devote their last law school semester to pro bono legal work on behalf of low income and indigent people. Working with one of Fordham’s clinics or a select legal services provider, Scholars receive vital, real-life legal practice while also learning the importance of serving clients with limited means. Learn more.
Crimes of Conviction Should Not Drive Prison Health Policy
Clinical Professor Martha Rayner wrote an op-ed for the New York Law Journal on the New York response to health and safety in prisons during the coronavirus pandemic. Rayner notes that the prison population is especially susceptible to COVID-19 and early release is necessary to protect inmates, staff, and to stop the spread. Learn more. 
Fordham Law Takes Trial Advocacy Online
Adam Shlahet, director of Fordham Law School’s Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Program (ranked ninth in the country by U.S. News and World Report two years running) partnered with the director of UCLA’s A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy to organize the first-ever National Online Trial Advocacy Competition. In lieu of typical in-person proceedings, each student was required to submit a video of an opening statement. Learn more
The Fight for Period Equity
In the fall semester, five students in the Legislative and Policy Advocacy Clinic, alongside Professor Elizabeth Cooper, joined a nationwide campaign against the taxation of menstrual products. On November 20, 2019, a nationwide event dubbed the “Tampon Tax Protest” culminated many months of work. It was organized by Period Equity and LOLA, an organic menstrual product company, in a partnership called “Tax Free. Period.” Clinic students joined to coordinate efforts with other law students across the countryLearn more. 
Federal Litigation Clinic Wins Motion in “Reverse Stash House Sting” Case
In 2015, a group of students in Fordham Law’s Federal Litigation Clinic, under the supervision of Professors Michael W. Martin and Ian Weinstein, took on representation of a client who was arrested in a controversial drug “reverse stash house sting.” Recently, students in the Fall 2019 clinic won a habeas corpus petition in federal court, resulting in striking of one of the most onerous convictions from the client’s record that affects his immigration status.  While there are still several hurdles before this client’s “success” can be fully realized, the latest victory should be savored as the culmination of the efforts of more than a dozen students who have thus far worked on the case.  Learn more.
Federal Tax Clinic Wins Big for Taxpayer
A taxpayer received a Notice of Deficiency for approximately $300,000 and contacted the Fordham Tax Clinic, directed by Professor Elizabeth Maresca, for assistance. She came to the U.S. from the Caribbean and had limited English proficiency. She focused her life on caring for her two children, one of whom had a severe disability and subsequently passed away. The client had limited her work to babysitting and housekeeping to maintain a flexible schedule to care for her disabled daughter.  Learn more.
The Criminal Defense Clinic Goes to Albany
Martha Rayner, co-director of the Criminal Defense Clinic, and Kaela Economos, the Clinic’s social work supervisor, traveled to Albany along with two CDC students, Rachel Patterson and Jackie Prosky, to meet with New York legislators about two pending bills seeking to reform New York’s parole laws. They carry a sign with a quote from Pope Francis, “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.” Learn more.
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