Strategic Leading


The Small to Midsize Firm Leaders Dean’s Advisory Council gathered on November 11 for its third meeting with Dean Matthew Dilller, faculty, and administrators to provide their advice and guidance on the School’s strategic plan.

“The council continues to play an active role in exploring how we can continue to distinguish Fordham as a leading law school dedicated to excellence and the service of others,” said Diller. “Creating and honing the strategic plan will involve all the Law School’s leaders; thus the perspectives of this council’s members is particularly important as we move forward.”

After Dean Diller welcomed the group, Council Co-chair Laurie Berke-Weiss ’83 spoke about the ongoing impact of alumni providing expertise to Fordham Law students.

“Small and medium-sized firms present another opportunity for students,” said Berke-Weiss. “We as council members are working to guide students to promote themselves as legal professionals ready to excel in this sector of the legal market.”

Professor Joseph Landau, chair of the long-range planning committee, presented a talk on developing Fordham Law’s strategic vision and plan. His presentation was followed by brainstorming on the key focus of the plan.

“For the dean’s strategic plan to be effective, it is critical that we as a community unify around it,” said council member Ed Guardaro ‘85. “The council naturally supports the dean 100%, and we are eager to help lend our collective expertise to ensure that Fordham Law School continues to thrive.”

Michael Schiumo, the assistant dean for alumni relations, engaged the council on taking leadership positions within affinity groups formed around the School’s concentrations, which are groups of courses associated with a type of legal practice, such as litigation and dispute resolution, or a particular subject area of legal practice, such as business law or intellectual property. Schiumo noted that the concentration affinity groups are an additional opportunity for council members to work with current students.

“The council understands how important it is to connect with Fordham Law students,” said council member Ariana Tadler ‘92. “With these concentration affinity groups, we have another vehicle with which to interact and guide the next generation of Fordham lawyers.”

In closing remarks, William Savino ’74, Co-chair of the Council, affirmed the council’s purpose and the impact that it can have on the strategic plan and concentration affinity groups.

“We as a group can and will help the Law School with these priorities,” Savino said. “The council is only as strong as its individual members, and I know that each and every one of us is willing and able to support the Law School with our knowledge and expertise.”

At the meeting, Dean Diller also introduced Cullen Newton, associate director – employer outreach, a new position created in the Career Planning Center that will focus on small to midsize firms.

“I am excited to collaborate with the council on continuing to build relationships,” Newton said. “It is clear from this meeting that alumni are engaged and motivated, and I look forward to serving as another bridge between alumni and students.”


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