After closing its physical campus on March 9 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Fordham Law School reopened the building for the first time this week, welcoming new students for its first-ever hybrid orientation.
This year’s orientation consisted of online elements—watching pre-recorded videos and taking part in interactive Zoom exercises—and optional in-person programming. Incoming 1Ls had the opportunity to speak with their house leaders, professors, fellow classmates, and upper-year students during small-group virtual meetings and coffee chats.
Fordham Law School Dean Matthew Diller welcomed the new class in a video, emphasizing the importance and need for lawyers at this time.
“All societies have lawyers and legal systems, but in the United States, we look to the legal system to resolve fundamental problems to a degree that is extraordinary. All of the major issues in our society get played out through the legal system,” Diller said.
“This means that lawyers play a role in our society that is critically important. Lawyers give voice to individuals, to entities, and to groups in ways that enable them to be heard and have an impact—to be players. How we do this is therefore vital. The skills and values we bring to the table are incredibly important.”
Diller also reiterated Fordham Law’s commitment to helping its students succeed in everything they do during their academic journeys and beyond.
“As you transition to law school, I want to convey two basic messages to you. First, we and the entire Fordham Law community are here to help. Second, this is an important moment in which to commence the study of law. The legal profession needs you—our society needs you,” said Diller.
“Our mission is to prepare you to be the kind of lawyer that contributes to the social good—that works effectively to make our society more fair, equal, and just while representing clients ethically and responsibly. We will do everything we can to give you the tools to do so.”
For students opting for in-person orientation at the Lincoln Center campus, they spent August 20 and 21 learning more about legal writing, legal practice, and legal process.
The week concluded with students meeting one another—in a safe, socially distanced manner—for a gathering hosted by the Student Bar Association outside on the plaza.
The fall semester will begin on August 26 with students either taking classes through 100% remote learning or a hybrid instruction model.