Fordham Urban Law Journal Hosts 14th Annual Cooper-Walsh Colloquium


On October 16, the Fordham Urban Law Journal hosted its annual Cooper Walsh Colloquium, and this year’s theme was particularly timely: “The Impact of Financial Crisis on Urban Environments: Past, Present, and Future.” The event brought together scholars of law, urban studies, economics, and sociology for four panel discussions.

The first panel, moderated by Jennifer Taub, professor of law at Western New England University School of Law, explored and compared past and current financial crises. Speakers included Ray Brescia, Hon. Harold R. Tyler Chair in Law & Technology at Albany Law School; J. Scott Colesanti, professor of Legal Writing and faculty adviser of Business Law Honors and Corporate Compliance at Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law; Rafael I. Pardo, the Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law at Emory University; and Frederick Tung, Boston University School of Law’s Howard Zhang Faculty Research Scholar and professor of law.

Professor Susan Block-Lieb, Cooper Family Chair of Urban Legal Studies, led the second panel, in which NYU Max E. Greenberg Professor of Contract Law Clayton Gillette; Juliet M. Moringiello, associate dean for research and faculty development and professor of law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School; and University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School’s David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, examined state and federal responses to areas in crisis. 

A third panel covered the effects of a crisis on a municipality’s fiscal capacity. Professor Nestor Davidson, Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law, moderated the talk between Blaine G. Saito, who serves as assistant professor of law at Northeastern University School of Law; Associate Professor of Law Erin Scharff, from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; and Darien Shanske, professor of law at University of California’s Davis School of Law.

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies at Barnard College-Columbia University Angela M. Simms moderated the final panel of the day. Geeta Tewari, assistant professor of law at Widener University Delaware Law School, and Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center’s Newman Trowbridge Distinguished Professor of Law Christopher Tyson discussed how the economic crisis has disproportionately affected marginalized communities.

Danielle Donofrio ’21, the Fordham Urban Law Journal’s Cooper-Walsh Colloquium & articles editor, worked with editor-in-chief Christina Bai, Professor Block-Lieb; and Professor Davidson to organize and curate the event. “The order of the panels is intentional,” Donofrio noted, “Starting with an analysis of the past challenges, leading to the current capacity challenges and potential responses, and concluding with a panel that brings the discussion back down to earth: Beyond the high-level discussions of economy and policy, how are communities impacted and how can urban communities be assisted during present and future crises?”

Typically, the in-person colloquia bring in around 100 attendees. However, this year’s online event posed no size restrictions, and more than 300 attendees registered. Additionally, the virtual event also allowed the organizers to open up the discussion to nationwide participants. “Once it was confirmed that the event would be virtual, we had the freedom to invite speakers from across the nation without them needing to worry about coordinating travel to New York for a weekend,” explained Donofrio. “We were very excited to host participants from a variety of regions to provide a discussion of urban areas beyond just New York.”

The event was hosted in collaboration with Fordham’s Urban Law Center. A video of the colloquium is available to watch HERE.


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