Judicial Center Welcomes Judges for 3rd Annual View from Chambers Series


This spring semester, the Center for Judicial Events & Clerkships (CJEC) hosted five distinguished members of the state and federal judiciary through its annual View from Chambers series. The series has grown since its launch in spring 2020 as part of CJEC’s Judicial Engagement through Education Initiative. It shines a spotlight on a diverse slate of judges from a range of courts on the federal and state levels and provides invaluable opportunities for Fordham Law students to learn about the inner workings of judges’ chambers.

This year’s visiting jurists included: Judge Patrick DeAlmeida ’89 of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division; Judge Wynne Kelly ’05 of the U.S. Immigration Court (Executive Office for Immigration Review within the Department of Justice); Judge Andrea Masley ’91 of the New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division; Magistrate Judge Christopher Ray ’94 of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia; and Judge Karen Williams of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The judges provided unique insights into the work of their particular courts, such as duties and powers, as well as the role of judges and clerks in those courts. Moreover, they shared with the students their paths to the bench, including how some of their own clerkships influenced their careers. Some of the judges were also joined by their current and former clerks, allowing Fordham Law students to hear directly from the clerks about how the work of the court is furthered by judicial clerks.

Given the ongoing pandemic, each View from Chambers session was held virtually via Zoom and allowed for an extended Q&A period between the judges and students.

Some students attended these sessions throughout the semester to explore clerkships as a career path, while others attended simply to learn about the work of specific courts and types of judges. Students who have already accepted a clerkship also attended to gain better insights in advance of their upcoming clerkships.

Views from Chambers Insights and Reactions

To kick off the series on Feb. 9, Judge DeAlmeida discussed his work for both the Superior Court and the appellate division, as well as how the appellate division engages with both lower courts and the state Supreme Court. Judge DeAlmeida also shared insights about his former role as presiding judge on the New Jersey Tax Court, his career path, and how clerks in his chambers further the work of the court.

“From the outside, it is hard to understand how chambers operate and what the day-to-day work of judges and clerks looks like, but in all of these View from Chambers, the judges were generous in sharing how they approach problems and manage the work, and the important roles their clerks play in the process,” said Ed McLaughlin ’22, who attended Judge DeAlmeida’s and Judge Kelly’s sessions. Next fall, McLaughlin will start clerking for Judge Claire Eagan of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, and clerk for Judge Kent A. Jordan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit the following term. “For those of us clerking or hoping to clerk after school, it’s so valuable to hear about what the job looks like and think about what we can do now to best set ourselves up for success once we’re on the job.”

On Feb. 11, Magistrate Judge Ray spoke about his work for the Southern District of Georgia since assuming the role in February 2019 and his career path. Michael Campbell ’21, current law clerk for Judge Ray and former editor in chief of the International Law Journal, joined the virtual podium to provide insight into the role of a law clerk to a magistrate judge.

On March 1, Judge Kelly talked about the work of the U.S. Immigration Court as well as his career path and how clerks in his chambers further the work of the court. Prior to his appointment on the bench, Judge Kelly served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, was an associate with firm Hunton & Williams in Miami and Kelley Drye & Warren in New York, and clerked for U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida.

On March 31, Judge Masley discussed her work in the New York State Commercial Division and the role of the court in business disputes. She also delved into her career path, including her clerkship on the Commercial Division and her 10-year term in the New York City Civil Court, and how clerks in her chambers further the work of the court. Judge Masley was joined by her former clerk Kevin Quarantino ’16, now an associate at Foley & Lardner.

Judge Williams concluded the series on April 5, when she talked about her work as a district judge, her immediate previous role as a magistrate judge, and her career trajectory. Judge Williams is the first African American federal judge confirmed by the Senate to sit in the federal courthouse in Camden, New Jersey. Cara Kaplan ’18 also joined Judge Williams  to provide insight into her role as a law clerk. Kaplan first clerked for Judge Williams when she was a magistrate judge and is currently clerking an additional year with Judge Williams at the district court level.

“These View from the Chambers events help crystallize, for me, what the clerkship role actually looks like,” said Seamus Ronan ’23. “The more these opportunities are offered, [the more it]guides my journey into deciding whether clerking is something that I want to do after graduation.”

Alexandria Bell ’22, incoming clerk to Judge DeAlmeida, said it was a privilege to hear Judge Williams explain her “uniquely well-rounded path to the bench” from magistrate judge to district court judge. “As a student who will be clerking upon graduation, I appreciated hearing from Cara on how working as a law clerk has enhanced her legal writing and research skills,” she said.

This year’s View from Chambers line-up was better than imagined, according to Carleigh Stiehm ’23. She explained how she learned much more than how to just successfully apply for clerkships. “The judges that came to speak to us all had such diverse paths to the bench, and hearing their stories gave great insight into the discerning perspectives we can be surrounded by if we are eventually selected to clerk,” Stiehm said.

“We are so pleased by how the Fordham community and student body have embraced our initiatives,” said Suzanne M. Endrizzi ’96, CJEC Assistant Dean, who organized this year’s line up and moderated the informal Q&As at the end of each session. “We also recognize how incredibly lucky we are to have such a wonderful cohort of judges, who are alumni and friends of Fordham, willing to volunteer their time to invest in the education of our students.”


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