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Committee on Diversity in Business Law

Committee on Diversity in Business Law

Lex Aequa Omnem Civem Amplectitur
A just law encompasses every citizen.


To promote diversity in business law by encouraging traditionally underrepresented students to consider future careers in business and corporate law.


The Committee on Diversity in Business Law was established in March 2011 in affiliation with the Fordham Corporate Law Center. A February 2011 Wall Street Journal article reported the low number of minorities in corporate law practice and alerted Professor Sean Griffith to the underrepresentation of diverse law students in the Fordham Law upper level business law curriculum. Professor Griffith feels that corporate law is a pathway to empower minority communities, and this encouraged him to find a way to increase the number of diverse Fordham Law students entering corporate and other business-related practice areas. Students were surveyed and many attributed the underrepresentation to a lack of familiarity with the basic issues confronted in these courses and a lack of exposure to the corporate law profession.

The Committee on Diversity in Business Law (“CDBL”) was created with the assistance of three students. The objective was to address the issues described above with special programs and networking opportunities aimed at promoting business law careers among traditionally underrepresented students and to increase diverse representation in business and corporate law. Additional faculty contact, mentorships with alumni, panel programs with diverse practitioners and site visits are organized. Initially there were twelve student members, and in 2014 there are over one hundred members. The Committee seeks to increase visibility and greater program awareness among prospective law school applicants. Future CDBL objectives include the establishment of internships, affiliations with bar associations, professional partnerships outside the law school, affiliation with Fordham ALSA organizations, development of additional opportunities for members to write and speak about CDBL, and making connections with the Fordham Business School.

Spring 2015 (still in formation)
January 21, 2015 General CDBL Membership Meeting
February 11, 2015 Diversity Panel: Morgan Lewis partners and TIAA-CREF partners
February 2015 Site Visit to NBCUniversal
Duberstein Moot Court Bankruptcy Competition

Fall 2014
August 11, 2014 Meet & Greet: Learn about CDBL and meet the Board
August 28, 2014 Business Law Faculty-Student Reception: Meet the business law faculty and other interested students
September 10, 2014 General CDBL Meeting: Applications for 1L representatives
October 7, 2014 Mentorship Reception: Meet your mentors and fellow mentees
October 27, 2014 Mentor-Mentee Bootcamp training program with Barbara A. Lane '80
November 19, 2014 Summer Job Search Panel for 1L's: Student panel discussion on applying for federal or state judge internships and how to get jobs in corporate law

Spring 2014
February 9, 2014 Mentor-Mentee Bootcamp training program with Barbara Lane '80
March 11, 2014 Site visit to Dechert LLP
March 30 Mock Interview Session
April 2014: Nadjia Bailey ’10 and Paula Edgar (New York Law School) to discuss CDBL as prototype for law school diversity student organizations at NALP Conference (National Association for Law Placement)
April 3, 2014 Site visit to Morgan Stanley
April 9, 2014 Closing General Body Meeting
April 25, 2014 Year End Dinner

Fall 2013
August 27, 2013 Business Law Faculty-Student Reception: Meet the business law faculty and other interested students
September 12, 2013 Fall 2013 General Body Meeting
October 16, 2013 Summer Internship Panel with upper student panel for 1L's
October 30, 2013 Mentor-Mentee Reception November 6 - 8, 2013 Holland & Knight LLP sponsored PLI Event: Two CDBL members attended the PLI Securities Regulation Conference ($1,150 scholarship)

Spring 2013
January 31, 2013 Speed Networking Event: Alumni and students met to discuss mentoring opportunities
January - April 2013 ASAFE Program at New York City Bar Association (Alliance of Securities and Financial Educators): Securities and Finance Law Seminar Series for selected Second and Third Year Students New York & New Jersey Law Schools
March 8, 2013 Site visit to Sidley Austin. FLS alumni Bindu Donovan, Miguel Nieves and Michael Kanatake spoke about their practices
April 12, 2013 Site visit to Bank of America (2 World Financial Center) for a panel discussion about various practice areas

Fall 2012
September 24, 2012 Inaugural Reception for students interested in CDBL to learn about the Committee and Mentoring Program
November 7 - 9, 2012 Holland & Knight LLP sponsored PLI Event: Two CDBL members attended the PLI Securities Regulation Conference ($1,150 scholarship)
November 8, 2012 "Beyond the Checkbox: Reflections on Diversity in Business Law", organized and moderated by Brenda L. Gill ’95 (Head of Strategic Analysis, GSAM), ThomsonReuters
Panelists: Rhonda Oliver'95 (Practice Director H5) April Plana (Associate General Counsel, Digital Media Services, Verizon Communication ) Squire Servance (Senior Associate, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)
November 16, 2012 Site Visit to Dechert LLP with FLS alumnus Mauricio Espana

This program introduces (1L and 2L) students to business law. Students are invited to attend a short program organized by a law firm/company with diversity colleagues. A future goal is to expand this opportunity to include a full day program with an attorney and the opportunity to observe the skill set needed to thrive in the attorney's practice area.

MENTORING PROGRAM This program pairs students interested in pursuing a career in business law with experienced alumni in the field of corporate and business law.

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM - still to be developed This program will allow students to work at financial institutions over the course of a semester. By working at financial institutions, students will observe the roles attorneys play outside of the corporate law firm setting. Through this experience, students will develop a better understanding of business law and bolster their resumes.

ALUMNI ADVISORY BOARD is in formation with recent CDBL graduates.

CONTACT US If you are interested in being a member, mentor or mentee or would like to contribute to any of our other initiatives please contact us at: Webpage:

CDBL BOARD OFFICERS (2014-2015) Yushan (Isabel) Dai (Chair), Zachary Russell (Vice Chair), Yiyang Zhan (Treasurer), Ryan White (Secretary), Michael Levario (Alumni Relations Chair)

CDBL BOARD OFFICERS (2013-2014) Zhouzhou "Max" Guo (Chair), Michael Levario (Vice Chair), Songhee Oh (Treasurer), Michelle Chan (Secretary), Stephon Martin (Director of Alumni Communications), Michael Garza (Director of Marketing)

CDBL BOARD OFFICERS (2012-2013) Rossalyn Quaye (Chair), Osmel Cuan (Vice Chair), Jayson Lewis (Treasurer), Katy Benitez (Secretary), Stanley Montfort (Director of Alumni Communications), Ramona Ortega (Marketing Director)

CDBL BOARD OFFICERS (2011-2012) Graig Springer (Founder and Chair), Patrick Dorime (Vice Chair), Jin Choi (Treasurer), Amee Parekh (Secretary), Francesca Djerejian (Director of Alumni Communications), Alexandra Acosta and Stanley Montfort (Co-Marketing Directors)

FACULTY ADVISOR: Sean J. Griffith (T.J. Maloney Chair and Professor of Law, Director of the Fordham Corporate Law Center)
CORPORATE LAW CENTER ADVISOR: Ann Rakoff (Executive Director)
PROFESSIONAL ADVISOR: Barbara A. Lane (GE Capital, Managing Director & Securities Counsel, Americas)
ADDITIONAL FACULTY ADVISORS: Susan Block-Lieb, Assistant Dean Suzanne Endrizzi, Assistant Dean Nitza Escalera & Adjunct Professor Harold Moore