Fordham Law School has appointed Marta Ricardo as its new director of fundamental lawyering skills.
Prior to joining Fordham Law, Ricardo served as assistant dean and dean of career services, as well as executive director of career services and professional development, at Columbia Law over the past 14 years. She also taught Columbia Law’s negotiation workshop, which is similar to the fundamental lawyering course offered at Fordham Law.
Using an integrated transactional law and private sector career services perspective informed by her backgrounds in big law, banking, and academia, she will oversee the fundamental lawyering skills course wherein students learn how to communicate with and serve clients.
“What’s so unique about this kind of course is that it translates the fundamentals of the first year of law school—the core framework of law—for students,” Ricardo said. “Students will learn how to listen, communicate, and apply the facts to the law to deliver messages to their clients.”
“Understanding the client mindset is a critical part of being a lawyer,” she continued, “and this course helps students learn how to negotiate on behalf of the client.”
Incoming clinical professor Ilene Strauss, who will oversee all of Fordham Law’s legal writing and lawyering programs, said she is incredibly excited to have Ricardo join the Law School’s faculty. “Her varied practice and teaching background—combined with her unique connection to the needs of employers—makes her a perfect fit for our team,” said Strauss, who worked closely with Ricardo at Columbia. “I know that Marta will step back and think about our writing and lawyering programs holistically and help students contextualize the range of skills they need to be effective and well-rounded lawyers when they graduate.”
Ricardo echoed Strauss’ sentiments, saying she’s eager to engage with both Fordham Law’s faculty and students when they return to the Lincoln Center campus this fall. “I cannot wait to not only help make the most of students’ natural talents and provide them with the skills they need to be well adept when dealing with a range of clients,” she explained, “but to also better understand the Fordham Law student experience and how this course fits into their life at the Law School and as future lawyers.”
“I’m also looking forward to being on board when the new incoming students come,” Ricardo added, “and having that same enthusiasm and excitement I had when starting law school in New York City 30 years ago.”
Before joining academia, Ricardo spent most of her professional career working as a lawyer, rating analyst, and investment banker in the structured finance industry. She began her law practice as a corporate lawyer at Milbank and later at Simpson Thacher in New York City. Ricardo later served as managing director at HSBC Securities, where she was responsible for credit card and student loan ABS origination, Latin American structured finance, and covered bond product introduction to U.S. banks.
Ricardo received her J.D. from Columbia Law School where she served as the student chair of the Latino/a Law Students Association and as coordinator of the moot court program during her 2L year. She earned a B.A. from the University of Florida.