The week of March 2 at Fordham Law was dubbed “Judges Week” as the Center for Judicial Events and Clerkships (CJEC) welcomed 18 federal judges to the Law School for this multi-day event. Judges Week included the CJEC’s inaugural Jurist in Residence Program and Judges Day in Residence event. During their visit, the participating judges were involved in all aspects of the life of the law school—from small discussions with students to co-teaching classes to lunches and receptions. The entire law school community had the opportunity to benefit from their experience and insights.
On March 3, the honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, visited as Fordham Law’s first Jurist in Residence. Judge Sutton spent the day interacting with students in a small group session, co-teaching Civil Procedure and ultimately concluding his visit with his Jurist in Residence lecture “ 51 Imperfect Solutions: The Role of States in Protecting Individual Rights,” modeled after his book, 51 Imperfect Solutions: States and the Making of American Constitutional Law. His lecture explored the importance of state constitutions, which he argued could be used as a vehicle for greater protection of individual rights.
The following day, the CJEC hosted its Judges Day in Residence in honor of New Jersey Federal Judges, welcoming circuit, district, magistrate and bankruptcy judges from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and District of New Jersey. Participating judges included: circuit court judges Joseph Greenaway, Paul Matey, and Patty Shwartz; district court judges Claire Cecchi ’89, Brian Martinotti, and Peter Sheridan, magistrate judges Douglas Arpert, Joseph Dickson, Mark Falk, Joel Schneider, Cathy Waldor, Leda Dunn Wettre ’93, and Karen Williams; and bankruptcy court judges Andrew Altenburg, Stacey Meisel, Vincent Papalia ‘84, and Jerrold Poslusny Jr.
Throughout the Day in Residence, the participating judges were fully engaged in the day-to-day activities of the Law School. The judges joined faculty in 13 different classes ranging from complex litigation to bankruptcy to U.S. Constitutional History to professional responsibility. Less formally, the judges mingled with students and faculty over lunch. The day concluded with a Town Hall event, moderated by Professor Daniel J. Capra, faculty director of the CJEC. The discussion ranged from the “vanishing trial” phenomenon to strategies for increasing diversity on the bench. The judges also briefly explained each of their distinct roles as circuit, district, magistrate and bankruptcy judges. All the speakers offered practical advice to the assembled students, not only for succeeding in a clerkship, but in the legal world in general. Immediately following the Town Hall, the judges enjoyed a reception with students, alumni, faculty, and administrators.
Though the CJEC is less than a year old, its efforts to expand judicial engagement at the Law School have gained traction with the judiciary as well as our students and alumni. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful cohort of judges—both alumni and friends of Fordham—at the state and federal levels to draw upon for guidance, and a vibrant and engaged alumni clerk network to support our endeavors,” remarked Suzanne M. Endrizzi ’96, CJEC assistant dean.