Current Issue (Vol 49.4)

The Rule of Law and Government in the Urban Landscape


Crushing the Soul of Federal Public Defenders: The Plea Bargaining Machine’s Operation and What to Do About It
Walter I. Gonçalves, Jr.

Understanding the Public’s Opinions of UAV-Assisted Residential Monitoring by Police
Linda M. Merola & Ryan P. Murphy


Judicial Deference to Municipal Interpretation
Joseph S. Diedrich


Park on the Highway: Building a Cap Park as a Solution to Decades of Devastation Caused by the Construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway
Grace Brennan

Standardized (COVID) Testing? Vaccine Mandates and Teachers’ Unions Collective Bargaining Agreements in Urban School Districts
Seamus J. Ronan

The Rainbow Connection: Revisiting the Mixed-Motive Summary Judgement Standard in Bostock’s Afterglow
Courtney Vice

Who’s an Employee Now? Classifying Workers in the Age of the “Gig” Economy
Catherine Engelmann

New York Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood Accepts Fordham Urban Law Journal’s Louis J. Lefkowitz Award

Sourced from Fordham Law News

New York Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood accepted the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award at the Fordham Urban Law Journal’s (ULJ) annual Alumni Dinner on April 21. Underwood was selected for the award due to her substantial contribution to the field of urban law throughout her distinguished career in public service. Dean Matthew Diller and ULJ Alumni President Vincent Lesch ’14 presented Underwood with the Award.

Underwood has worked as a top adviser to nine different leaders of law offices across local, state, and federal governments. Early in her legal career, she was a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court. She has worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and served as a leader in the Queens and Brooklyn District Attorney’s Offices. She was chief assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the first female acting solicitor general of the United States. In 2018, she became the first female attorney general of the State of New York.

After accepting the award, Underwood spoke about the benefits of increasing the representation of women and minority individuals on the courts and in leadership positions in government.

Editors of Fordham ULJ Volume 49. Back row (left to right): Georgia Decker ’22, Kevin Winnie ’22, Shazell Archer ’22, and Tyler Daniels ’22. Front row (left to right): Nicholas Loh ’22, Erica Chan ’22, Caitlin Ramiro ’22, Catherine Engelmann ’22, and Nicholas Liotta ’22.

“It’s not because there is a single woman’s point of view that will change outcomes or a single point of view held by Black people or by any other identifiable group,” Underwood said. “Instead, it’s because there are some life experiences that women and members of marginalized communities have—and those experiences can matter in decision-making.”

Underwood drew on the analysis set forth by Justice Marshall, who wrote about the loss of perspective that occurs when a segment of the community is excluded from jury service. “Justice Marshall was explaining why the exclusion of Black persons from juries was harmful not only to Black defendants, but to all defendants, and indeed to everyone,” she noted. “It was the distinctive experience and perspective that mattered, not some predictable distinctive vote.

“Women, and members of other groups too, bring to decision-making a distinctive life experience—and then they each use it differently,” she continued. “Part of that shared experience is the experience of being different, of being the only woman in a room of men, like being the only Black person in a room of white people, and of needing to work especially hard to be heard and taken seriously.”

Underwood joins a long list of distinguished recipients of the Louis J. Lefkowitz award, including Geraldine Ferraro ’60, Mary Jo White, and Robert M. Morgenthau.

Dean Matthew Diller addresses attendees at the 2022 ULJ Alumni Dinner.

42nd Fordham Urban Law Journal Awards Dinner

The Fordham Urban Law Journal Alumni Association (“FULJAA”) is pleased to officially invite you to its annual Alumni Dinner, which can once again take place in person!  The dinner is on Thursday, April 21st, at the Dear Irving on Hudson restaurant, within the Aliz Hotel Times Square.



The FULJAA is also pleased to announce that this year’s Louis J. Lefkowitz Award will be presented to New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, who we will honor at our dinner on April 21st.



Tickets are now on sale for $85 per person Click here to purchase a ticket to the Award Dinner or visit

Note: Due to event capacity there are approximately 50 ULJ alumni tickets left. Online tickets are sold on a first-come basis.

Current Issue (49.3)

The Legalization of Marijuana in Urban Communities


Multiunit Housing and Cannabis: Good Laws Make Good Neighbors
Daniel G. Orenstein

The Regulatabilization of Cannabis
Donald J. Kochan


Taking the Initiative: Marijuana Law Reform and Direct Democracy
Tamar Todd

Marijuana Use by Employees: Drug-Free Policies and The Changing Legal Landscape
Kerry Cork

Intrastate Conflicts and Lessons Learnt from Marijuana Legalization
Ilaria Di Gioia

Targeted Marijuana Law Enforcement in Los Angeles, 1914–1959
Sarah Brady Siff

How State Reforms Have Mellowed Federal Enforcement of Marijuana Prohibition
Douglas A. Berman & Alex Fraga

Current Issue (49.2)

The Calm Before the Storm: The Connection Between Mass Incarceration and Climate Change

Fordham ULJ Vol. 50 Masthead Released!

The Fordham Urban Law Journal is thrilled to announce the incoming Editorial Board and Associate Editors for Volume 50. The new masthead is as follows:

Peter Angelica

Katharine Rubery
Managing Editor

Jacob Marcus
Senior Articles Editor

Nikita Mathur
Business Editor

Madeline Johl
Writing and Research Editor

Fay Dawodu
Online Managing Editor

Sofia Johnson
Cooper-Walsh Editor

Anne Bolton
Symposium Editor

Sofia La Bella
Notes and Articles Editor

Taylor Muentener
Notes and Articles Editor
Alysia Lo
Notes and Articles Editor
Jack Gilliam
Notes and Articles Editor

Seamus Ronan
Notes and Articles Editor

Abigail Kucharcyzk
Notes and Articles Editor

Callie Ives
Notes and Articles Editor

Associate Editors

Grace Brennan Rachel Ehrlich

Hillary Bendert

We welcome this new Board of Fordham Law students and look forward to their publishing of Fordham Urban Law Journal‘s 50th Volume!

Spring 2022 Symposium

Register Here

About the Program

Over the past several years, specialized public high schools in major urban centers have faced scrutiny over their admissions practices. In the courts and in the media, critics have raised challenges over the racial composition of student populations at schools that admit students solely on the basis of an academic examination. In response, policymakers have begun considering legislation to alter these schools’ admissions practices. Underlying the debate over whether admission by test is an appropriate or desirable policy for urban public schools are deeper questions about merit and equity in the education context.

The future of admission by test in U.S. cities remains an open question. The Fordham Urban Law Journal provides a forum for this discussion at its 2022 Symposium, “Testing the Limits: Admissions Exams in Urban Public Schools”. Alongside professors, attorneys, scholars, economists, parents, and advocates, the Symposium will explore potential legal challenges to and defenses of admissions tests, representation in exam schools, the finances associated with admissions tests, and psychometric questions about who should make admissions exams and what they should test.

Panel Topics

Panel 1: Representation in Exam Schools

Robert Garda, Jr., Fanny Edith Winn Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Janel George, Associate Professor of Law; Director of the Racial Equity in Education Law and Policy Clinic, Georgetown Law
Osamudia James, Professor of Law, UNC School of Law
Ian Rowe, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
ModeratorTanya Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Panel 2: The Socioeconomics of Admission by Test

Ray Domanico, Senior Fellow and Director, Education Policy, Manhattan Institute
Chris Kwok, Board Director, Asian American Bar Association of New York; Adjunct Faculty in Asian American Studies, CUNY Hunter
Lucas Liu, Co-President, Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education
Raquel Muñiz, Assistant Professor, Boston College, Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch School of Education and Human Development & School of Law
Charles Russo, Director, Ph.D. Program in Educational Leadership; Research Professor of Law, University of Dayton
Moderator: Karuna Patel, Deputy Director, Feerick Center for Social Justice, Fordham University School of Law

Panel 3: Defining and Measuring Merit in Urban Public Schools

LaToya Baldwin Clark, Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA Law
Preston Green III, John and Maria Neag Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Educational Leadership and Law, University of Connecticut
Richard Kahlenberg, Director of K–12 Equity and Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Kevin Welner, Professor, University of Colorado Boulder, School of Education; Director, National Education Policy Center
Moderator: Aaron Saiger, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Panel 4: Lessons from Higher Education for K-12 Admissions

Jonathan Glater, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law
Chris Kieser, Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
Rachel Moran, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law
Maimon Schwarzschild, Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law
Moderator: Tracy Higgins, Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

7th Annual ICULC Proceedings

View the official 7th Annual ICULC Proceedings Page here.


Promoting the Migration Governance Policies to Stimulate Inclusive Socio-Economic Integration for Foreigners’ Migrants in Egypt
Samar Alarif

Abstract: Cities around the world are facing rapid demographic changes due to migration. As a result, migrant integration has gained significant global interest by promoting inclusive policies and creating inclusive cities. Diversity of population origins and skills enable economic productivity and offer inhabitants a better quality of life. Migration governance policies force expanding economic opportunities for both the immigrants and the host communities. Egypt is currently hosting many migrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Sudan who face socio-economic challenges with the new society. At the same time, like any host community, Egypt faces the challenges of lowering the level of unemployment, informality, and the social tensions related to the competition on available economic opportunities.

This paper explores the migration socio-economic integration policies that can support the Egypt case, as well as policies that help immigrants and refugees become an active part of society. The paper involves an online questionnaire with migrants’ entrepreneurs and workers. The paper also reviews and reports the relevant policy documents and studies prepared by researchers and the various entities related to the research topic. Upon initially investigating how migrants in the Egyptian cities contribute to the local economic and social domain, one finds a certain degree of successful socio-economic integration for Syrian migrants, which is not the case for other migrants. However, several challenges persist, mainly the lack of enforcement, the coordination amongst various entities, the formalization of businesses, and the recognition of enterprises. Results and findings include recommendations on what needs to be promoted in respect to migration governance in Egypt.

Brazilian Cities and Facial Recognition: A Threat to Privacy
Fernanda Catao & Igor Baden Powell


This work was presented at the 7th Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference on July 15, 2021, and examines issues surrounding the widespread use of facial recognition systems—particularly, potential threats to the data and privacy of citizens in Brazil’s “Smart Cities”. The work focuses on the threatening combination of facial recognition software and big data and evaluates potential harm to privacy as a result of the unregulated use of the software. The work critically examines the current legal framework designed to protect private information, gaps in the implementation of those frameworks, as well as the level of threat associated with the implementation of facial recognition systems. The work proposes that the Government of Brazil enforces its data and privacy protection laws through an active authority and demands that both the private and public sectors implement facial recognition technology with a clear regard for data subjects’ privacy and fundamental rights.




Legal Remedies against Pharmaceuticals
Tarun Arora

Abstract: This work was presented at the 7th Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference on July 17, 2021 and proposes a multipronged and comprehensive framework by which public and private actors can effectively reduce unlawful disposal of expired or discarded pharmaceutical compounds. The work focuses its remarks on the harmful environmental effects of improper discharge of pharmaceutical compounds in the urban areas of the State of Punjab. The work critically examines existing legal and regulatory mechanisms, gaps in the implementation of those mechanisms, as well as the lack of public participation in the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals. The work proposes an integrated approach that implements refined legal and regulatory frameworks, technology, and scientific research on the prevalence of pharmaceutical compounds in the environment.

Between Fear and Recognition of New Traditions
Iman Hegazy

Abstract: Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, millions of Syrians have been displaced either as refugees or migrants. Until March 2021, Egypt officially received 132,000 Syrian asylum seekers. This paper aims to qualitatively hear Syrian refugees’ voices in order to better understand their daily life interactions and socio-cultural impact in the host society of Egypt, relying on site visits, observations, and interviews with both refugees and Egyptian citizens. This paper demonstrates that social recognition, such as in the 6th of October City, is far more effective than legal recognition. With refugees importing their Syrian traditions to their Egyptian settlements, they have become increasingly socially recognized through their socio-cultural impact on Egypt’s host society. This is in spite of difficulties Syrians face in remaining legally in Egypt as refugees, including the inability to register businesses absent a partnership with an Egyptian citizen or have bank accounts.

Catalyzing Sustained Urban Development of Bengaluru through Social Entrepreneurship
Nikhil Ravindra

Abstract: Bengaluru, the city named as the World’s most dynamic city by World Economic Forum in 2017; besides being India’s tech capital, is known for innovation, technological progress being home to several startups, social enterprises and entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship is defined as solving social problems through innovative ways categorized by their openness to learning and driven by social and ecological values.

Several urban law governance approaches are in place to support social enterprises, however the challenges linked to it are numerous. At the National Level: long-pending policies, taxation issues, hurdles are faced by startups in terms of infrastructure and bureaucracy. At Karnataka State Level: not having favorable policies including filing for exit and bankruptcy. Whereas at the city level, there are low awareness levels beyond the metro cities. The Global Startup Genome Report 2019 highlights the low ranking of Bengaluru in terms of policy and research related to social entrepreneurship, having scored just 3 out of 10. This is due to the weak policy environment in India and low levels of research production in related sectors. To overcome such challenges, several initiatives are being carried out with regards to international mobility for skill transfer and with the commitment to make India “the skill capital” of the world. However, the focus has been more on training the locals to be competent in markets outside of the country than within.

The research aims for essential social entrepreneurship policies to catalyze and regulate sustained growth of Bengaluru, through the objectives of exploring the entrepreneurship governance ecosystem of the country, investigating social enterprises avenues in the city and suggest essential urban law remedies to boost social entrepreneurship.

AI Governance Now
Emile Loza de Siles

Abstract: This work in progress was presented at the 7th Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference on July 15, 2021, and proposes a multipronged and comprehensive legal development strategy by which meaningful and informed governance can be established for artificial intelligence (“AI”) domains.  The work focuses its remarks on government uses of AI, the exposure of people to these systems, and the increasingly predominant model for governments to procure access and outsource these computational functions to private sector vendors. The work applies its multipronged legal development strategy to algorithmic bias and discrimination and the concomitant civil rights concerns that are prevalently raised in the popular and legal literatures.

Potential and Current State of Urban Cycling Laws in Egypt
Ahmed Tarek Alahwal & Omar Aboutaleb

Abstract: Many cities are turning to programs promoting bicycle use to combat increasing pressure on roads and public transportation and support a cleaner mode of mobility. Egypt is one such city that could benefit from such programs. This paper aims to review the legal aspects of urban cycling in Egyptian law and draws recommendations from a comparative international perspective on the topic. The main objective is to investigate the recognition of the bicycle commuters’ rights in Egyptian streets and the possibilities to promote cycling as a mode of mobility within the Egyptian legal frameworks. This paper reviews the rights and responsibilities of the cycling commuters in Egyptian streets and discusses the relationship between cycling and other means of mobility in Egyptian cities and the possible conflicts or collaborations that might occur between the cyclists and other street users or vehicles in the Egyptian context (e.g., buses, cars, tuk-tuks, animal-drawn carts, pedestrians, etc.). The research shows that Egyptian cycling-related laws are quite limited and demonstrates the importance of both introducing legislation and including the discussion of such legislation in public debates and advocacy.





Cities and Companies: A Critical View of the Sectoral Inclusion of the South African Municipal Councils in King IV
Isolde deVilliers

Abstract: Expanding upon Doreen Massey’s After Neoliberalism: The Kilburn Manifesto, this paper argues that the corporate characterization of South African cities seen in the King IV report will create a loss of the sense of the city as a public space. Set against the background of the July 2021 protests against the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma, the paper argues that the disparity seen in those affected by the protests was caused by persistent divisions and inequalities throughout the county. With the King IV report calling inhabitants of the city shareholders of the municipality, these disparities will not be dismantled but rather entrenched. While there are positive aspects of including municipal councils in a document on corporate governance, there are already sufficient regulatory mechanisms, legislative, and policy frameworks to regulate these municipalities. Therefore, this paper argues that the King IV report is not filling a gap in policy but is politically shifting the conception of the city to a business perspective, which may have negative implications for South Africa. 


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