Meet Emilia McManus ’25


Emilia McManus ’25 is completing a J.D. at Fordham Law School with hopes of pursuing a career in public defense or impact litigation when she graduates. She says she was drawn to Fordham’s dedication to addressing issues of inequality through student advocacy initiatives, clinic work, and pro bono opportunities.

What is your hometown?
Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Where did you study before Fordham Law?
University of Notre Dame.

Why did you choose Fordham Law?
I chose Fordham because of its commitment to fostering a community of public interest-driven students and promoting social change through the legal field. Recognizing the pivotal role that the legal profession plays in shaping social systems and structures, I was drawn to Fordham’s dedication to addressing issues of inequality through student advocacy initiatives, clinic work, and pro bono opportunities. 

What do you like about studying law in New York City?
New York City is home to numerous renowned public interest organizations, nonprofits, and legal aid groups actively working on issues ranging from civil rights to immigration and housing rights. Students are granted access to engage directly with these organizations, gaining hands-on experience, and the opportunity to work with some of the most influential legal practitioners in the country. The city itself has a diverse population that exposes students to a broad spectrum of legal challenges and societal issues, enriching students’ understanding of the complexities of the law. The proximity to courts, government agencies, and international organizations also enhances the learning experience.

What are you involved in at the Law School?
This semester, I joined the Global Anti-Racism Clinic. As opposed to traditional clinics, this is not a client-facing opportunity. Instead, our research supported the work of Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, a special rapporteur at the United Nations. As members of the clinic, we prepared Tlaleng’s upcoming travels for various country visits. Her career and advocacy, beyond her position at the U.N., is powerful in addressing issues of global equity. It was exciting to work with her to advance her mandate.

What is your favorite moment/experience at Fordham Law? My favorite Fordham Law memory is Fall Fest! During Fall Fest, the school brings food trucks to campus with loads of free food, desserts, and drinks. It’s a great way for the community to gather and enjoy our time at Fordham.

What do you hope to do when you graduate?
Post graduation, I’m hoping to work in public defense or impact litigation. I hope to end the harm of the carceral system by centering advocacy initiatives on system-impacted people. My goal is to build a world in which people feel safe, supported, heard, and empowered to make legal, economic, and emotional decisions impacting their lives.

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