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Global Connections - Volume 4, Issue 2


   

Our Growing LL.M. Community

This semester, the LL.M. program welcomed 30 new candidates, who joined our returning class of 158 students for a total of 188 LL.M. students.

Our new class includes students who received their primary law degrees from 17 countries: Brazil, China, Colombia, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uzbekistan.

This new batch of students, which represents the fifth class to take advantage of Fordham Law’s unique spring semester start date for LL.M. students, brings with them a wealth of skills and experience, and we are sure they will continue the tradition of excellence in Fordham Law’s LL.M. program.

We anticipate with excitement our May 2013 law school diploma ceremony, at which we will honor 179 graduates who have received or will receive their LL.M. degrees during the 2012–2013 academic year (in September, February, and May). We will kick off graduation weekend with a cocktail reception for graduates and their families.

New LL.M. Degrees on the Horizon

Fordham Law is excited to introduce its newest LL.M. degree in International Dispute Resolution. This program is part of the Law School’s ongoing goal to create innovative programs that address important issues at the heart of modern law practice and that capitalize on Fordham’s existing areas of strength.

The new program, which will begin in Fall 2013, has been designed to allow students the opportunity to gain an advanced understanding of the various mechanisms for the adjudication of disputes. Students will study these options from both a theoretical and practical perspective. Specifically, students will examine how these methods of dispute resolution play out in the international arena while simultaneously orienting themselves to the complexities of the U.S. litigation model.

“The LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution will dovetail with the Law School’s robust, highly ranked ADR curriculum,” says Assistant Dean Toni M. Fine. “We are very excited to launch the program and look forward to preparing talented students for this rapidly growing area of legal practice.” Professor Jacqueline Nolan-Haley will serve as Faculty Director of the new program.

Additionally, the Law School is in the process of seeking New York State registration for a new LL.M. degree in Corporate Compliance. This program would be the first of its kind in the United States and would serve a critical need among corporations to employ lawyers with a sophisticated understanding of this rapidly emerging field. Professor Sean J. Griffith would oversee the program as Faculty Director. Adjunct Professor Carole Basri, Senior Vice President of B3 Legal LLC and author of several books on corporate compliance, would serve as Executive Director of the program.

LL.M. Program Celebrates Silver Anniversary

In Fall 2013, the LL.M. program will welcome its 25th incoming class. We look forward to marking this important milestone with an anniversary reunion of LL.M. alumni at Fordham Law School during the weekend of October 4–5, 2013. This event, featuring a cocktail reception, an academic program, and a celebratory dinner, will be a perfect opportunity for alumni to connect with old friends and expand their professional networks. LL.M. alumni are invited to mark their calendars now and visit the event webpage for additional details.

Become an LL.M. Alumni Ambassador

In an effort to strengthen connections among existing and future alumni and students, the Office of International and Non-J.D. Programs is excited to launch its Alumni Ambassador program.

Alumni Ambassadors will serve as official representatives of Fordham Law’s Master of Laws program within their respective regions. They will develop professional relationships with both prospective applicants to Fordham Law’s LL.M. program and with existing alumni throughout their respective countries.

We are seeking at least one alumnus from each of our LL.M. degree programs to serve as an Ambassador in every major city or region worldwide. As an Ambassador, you will

  • serve as a contact person for prospective and admitted students in your region
  • communicate with students to answer questions and provide personalized information
  • identify and help recruit highly qualified applicants to Fordham Law’s programs
  • advance Fordham Law’s global reputation for academic excellence
  • strengthen the Fordham Law School experience for both former and future graduates

There is no better testament to the Fordham Law LL.M. experience than the perspective offered by our successful graduates.

We invite all LL.M. graduates to volunteer to become Alumni Ambassadors. If you are interested in participating in the program, please complete and submit our online form.

We know that the efforts of our Alumni Ambassadors will help better connect our alumni and create lifelong professional and personal partnerships.

LL.M. Alumni Profile: Carlos Hawker '08

When Carlos Hawker graduated from Fordham’s LL.M. program in Banking, Corporate, and Finance Law in 2008, he emerged into an economy on the brink of disaster. “I managed to go through a round of interviews at a financial institution in New York, but on the day of my final interview Lehman Brothers broke down,” recalls Mr. Hawker. “I never heard back from them.”

Nevertheless, Hawker managed to land a consulting job for World Monitors Inc.—a New York consulting firm affiliated with the law firm of Wiggin and Dana LLP—focusing on corporate compliance, risk prevention strategies, and responsible business practices. Two years later, he was offered a position in BlackRock’s Legal & Compliance department for Latin America, where today he serves as the Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for Brazil and the Compliance Manager for the Latin America/Iberia Regions.

Hawker views the LL.M. program as fundamental to his career path. “I had already completed postgraduate master’s degrees in corporate law in Brazil, so the decision to stop working for a year to pursue the LL.M. wasn’t easy,” he says. “But when I thought about the benefits of an international education and the relationships and networking skills that I could gain, it became a no brainer. I proved to be right; I became much more attractive in the job market.”

He looks back on his time at Fordham fondly. “I remember the first day looking around and thinking, ‘Wow, what a melting pot.’ That day for me represents what education should be: global and connected.”

Of the Fordham experience he says, “The work that Fordham Law School, the Office of International and Non-J.D. Programs, and Assistant Dean Toni M. Fine put into the program is excellent and is definitely paying off. I never got the feeling I was just one more student; I always got the attention I needed.”

Hawker recently had the opportunity to meet Fordham Law School’s Dean Michael M. Martin and Assistant Dean for Advancement and AVP for External Relations Vera T. Bullock, and to reconnect with Assistant Dean Fine, when they met with alumni and prospective students in Sao Paolo, Brazil this past March.

“It was great to connect in Sao Paolo and to be reminded again of how friendly and welcoming the Fordham community is,” Hawker says. “I look forward to assisting the Law School in its plans to expand Fordham’s alumni network and attract prospective students from Brazil and Latin America.”

Carlos also recently participated in a Corporate Compliance Forum at Fordham Law and has accepted an invitation to serve on the Dean’s Planning Council, a dedicated group of leading alumni and friends who work closely with Dean Michael M. Martin to provide invaluable assistance in strategic planning and financial support.

LL.M. Student Profile: Liufeng Gao

When LL.M. student Liufeng Gao arrived in the United States a little over two years ago, she had already amassed a wealth of experience in her home country of China, having practiced commercial law for more than ten years as a senior attorney at the Tian Yuan Law Firm in Beijing. In addition to her years of experience, she also came with a large collection of accolades, including a three-year master of laws degree from Peking University and numerous awards for her academic achievements. In February 2011, she was designated the Marketing Representative of the law firm and she moved with her family to New York, where her husband is a commercial consul with the Chinese Consulate General.

At the Tian Yuan Law Firm, Gao’s practice has focused on various aspects of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, securities, venture capital, private equity investment, and intellectual property. Many of the matters she handles in practice involve common law jurisdictions, including the United States. She realized that an LL.M. degree would help her to better serve her Chinese clients.

“The United States has maintained its status as the source of foreign investment in China, while Chinese investment in the United States is stepping up fast. The business sectors of our two countries have never been as interdependent as they are today,” says Gao. “Chinese banks and financial institutions are dramatically expanding their establishment in the United States. To provide better legal services to Chinese investors, I need to enrich my knowledge of the U.S. legal system and practices.”

Gao chose Fordham for her LL.M. degree because of Fordham’s strong academic reputation, as well as for its intercultural exchanges and friendly community. She enjoys living close to the Law School and Lincoln Center. Her five-year-old son frequently meets her at the main entrance of the Law School in the evenings and offers her valuable academic advice. “I always listen seriously to his suggestions on how to improve my academic performance,” she says.

Gao appreciates the breadth of Fordham Law’s offerings, which include discussions and lectures featuring practitioners and judges. She has also enjoyed acting as a mentor to some of her younger classmates. "As an 'old woman' with more than fifteen years of working experience, I try my best to help my younger colleagues from Eastern countries adapt to their new life in the United States and to share with them my experiences in improving one’s academic performance."

She anticipates that her studies will help her further her career as a lawyer who will “facilitate two-way trade, investment, and capital flow between China and the United States and promote exchanges between our academic institutions, commercial organizations, and regulatory authorities from the perspective of the legal profession.”

Fordham Law Launches Corporate Compliance Institute

Beginning in July 2013, Fordham will launch its Corporate Compliance Institute, a three-week program designed to address the expanding need for corporate compliance professionals in both the U.S. and international job markets. Recent efforts by regulators in various industries have emphasized the importance of corporate compliance initiatives, which may reduce a company’s risks, reduce the severity of claims and penalties when violations do occur, and enhance corporate performance and profitability.

The program is geared toward bachelor’s degree holders seeking entry-level compliance positions as well as those with some compliance experience and lawyers seeking to transition into the compliance field.

The program will serve as an introduction to the basics of compliance and the roles of in-house counsel and the corporate compliance office. The program is directed by Professor Sean J. Griffith, the head of the Law School’s Corporate Law Center, and Adjunct Professor Carole Basri, a recognized authority in the field of compliance.

Visit the program’s webpage for a brochure with additional information.

Fordham Teams with Chinese Business Lawyers Association

On January 28, Fordham Law, in partnership with the Chinese Business Lawyers Association, hosted a conference on “Deals and Suits: Challenges and Opportunities for Chinese Companies Doing Business in the United States.” More than 120 students and professionals attended the program featuring two panels: one designed to address the litigation challenges and the other to address the transactional components of doing business in the United States.

Speakers included the following:

  • Hon. Denny Chin (J.D. ’78), United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Mark Cohen, Visiting Professor, Fordham Law School
  • Sean J. Griffith, Professor, Fordham Law School
  • Alex Hao, Partner, Jun He Law Offices
  • Carl Minzner, Professor, Fordham Law School
  • Euan Rellie, Joint Founder and Senior Managing Director, Business Development Asia LLC
  • Selig Sacks, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Geoffrey Sant, Special Counsel, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • Lanier Saperstein, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

The event attracted significant media attention and was featured on Phoenix Television and in Sing Tao Daily and The World Journal.

Summer Institute Celebrates its Seventh Year

Fordham Law is currently accepting applications for the 2013 Summer Institute, which will take place July 8–26.

As in past years, the 2013 Summer Institute will provide an introduction to the U.S. legal system and to fields of U.S. law that are most important to today's global lawyers, including bankruptcy law, civil procedure, corporate compliance, constitutional law, contract law, corporate law, evidence and trial practice, information technology law, intellectual property law, international arbitration, mergers and acquisitions, product liability law, and securities law. The program also features legal English workshops and special sessions on applying to and preparing for an LL.M. program in the United States.

In addition to their coursework, participants will visit a federal bankruptcy court and the New York office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, where they will learn about the work of several of the firm's attorneys. The program will end with a celebratory dinner, where certificates of completion will be awarded.

Visit the Summer Institute webpage for more information.

Accepting Applications for Recent Developments in U.S. Law Program

Fordham Law is very excited to host the third annual Recent Developments in U.S. Law program, which not only exposes participants to cutting-edge legal topics but also provides a unique opportunity to network with presenters and fellow participants from all over the world. 

The program will feature presentations by leading New York City lawyers in their respective fields. Presentations will be held at the New York offices of the following law firms: Davis Polk, Ladas & Parry, McDermott Will & Emery, Morrison & Foerster, Moses & Singer, Skadden, and White & Case. Visits to law firms will be accompanied by lunches and cocktail receptions, providing participants with invaluable time to connect with presenters and other firm attorneys.

We are also excited to host attorneys from Morgan Stanley and Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle who will be giving their lectures at Fordham Law School as part of this outstanding program. The program also includes a roundtable discussion featuring several in-house lawyers discussing their work as corporate counsel.

We invite you to apply and are currently accepting applications for the 2013 Recent Developments in U.S. Law program, which will take place during the week of July 15. An optional Introduction to the U.S. Legal System seminar will be offered on Sunday, July 14. 

Visit the Recent Developments in U.S. Law webpage for more information and updates.

Sponsorship and affiliate opportunities are also available. For additional information, please email recentdevelopments@law.fordham.edu.

NEW!  Hybrid Summer Program – July 8-26

For the first time, Fordham Law offers participants the opportunity to enroll in both Recent Developments and the Summer Institute programs. Participants complete the first and third weeks of the Summer Institute and the full week of the Recent Developments program. For additional information, please contact recentdevelopments@law.fordham.edu.

Alumni Events in Latin America and Europe

Following the enormous success of the Law School’s alumni and friends reunions in Asia last year, similar programs have taken or will soon take place in various Latin American and European cities.

In March, Dean Michael M. Martin and Assistant Deans Vera Bullock and Toni M. Fine visited Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires, where they met with approximately 80 alumni and friends of Fordham Law School. This initiative would not have been possible without the generous help of Jose Ricardo De Bastos Martins, Helen Carla Caiado Naves (LL.M. '09), and Rafael Villac Vincente de Carvalho (LL.M. '09), who organized the event in Sao Paulo; and Pablo Palazzi (LL.M. '00) of Allende & Brea, who organized the event in Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, the European Alumni Chapter is busy preparing for a program that will take place in Vienna, Austria in June. An academic program will be held on Saturday, June 22, at the Permanent Mission of Hungary to the International Organizations in Vienna. It will be hosted by Ambassador Balazs Csuday (LL.M. '08) and will focus on various aspects of UNCITRAL. The program will feature a distinguished panel of experts, including Fordham Law Professor Susan Block-Lieb, and will be followed by a luncheon.

A welcome reception will precede the program on Friday, June 21, and a dinner will be held the evening of Saturday, June 22.

For more details, including information about registration and hotel accommodations, please visit the event webpage.

Thank you to Ambassador Csuday and European Chapter President Wolfgang Schoenig (LL.M. '10) for their assistance in preparing for this event.

NYSBA Global Law Week

Fordham Law will be participating in Global Law Week, an initiative of the New York State Bar Association, by hosting a panel called "Developments in Anti-Bribery Laws: A Comparative Perspective" on May 17.

This event will deal with recent developments in anti-bribery legislation, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, and the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Topics will include the November 2012 Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issued by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission; the OECD Recommendation for Further Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the status of implementation of the convention; and the implementation of the UK Bribery Act of 2010. The panel will also discuss compliance programs for global corporations to help prevent bribery.

Panelists for the event will include Adjunct Professor Carole Basri; Jones Day Partner Henry Klehm II; Scott Peeler, the head of Stroz Friedberg’s Compliance Division; Julian Pritchard, the U.S. Regional Managing Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus; and Bart M. Schwartz, Chairman and CEO of Guidepost Solutions LLC.

To register or to find additional information about this event, please visit the event webpage.

Fordham Law Collaborates on Business Law in Practice Program

Fordham Law, in collaboration with Legal Practice International, will host the "Business Law in Practice for Transnational Lawyers" program from June 9–14.

The course, designed for Brazilian law students and attorneys, will feature classes taught by Fordham Law professors, LPI professors, and practitioners from New York City law firms. Topics will include an introduction to the U.S. legal system, contract law, corporate law, international business transactions, and international project finance. Additional sessions will be held on contract drafting and legal writing skills for those looking to improve their legal English fluency. Networking receptions will be held at the firms of Ladas & Parry and Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler.

International Judicial Research and Training Program Expands

From May 15–24, Fordham Law’s International Judicial Research and Training Program will welcome a delegation organized by Brazil's Escola Nacional da Magistratura. The delegation will participate in a program that will cover various topics, including an introduction to the U.S. judicial system, judicial accountability and independence, class action litigation, intellectual property law, information technology law, bankruptcy law, and alternative dispute resolution.

The participants will visit the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the New York City small claims court. In addition, the delegation will spend a day in Washington, D.C., where they will receive special briefings at both the Federal Judicial Center and the U.S. Supreme Court. A cocktail reception will be hosted for the group at Duane Morris in New York City.

From June 10–18, Fordham Law will welcome another delegation of Brazilian judges, organized by the Escola Superior de Magistratura de Pernambuco (ESMAPE). This marks the fifth consecutive year that ESMAPE has chosen Fordham Law as the venue for this program, which will cover various topics including class action litigation, copyright law, constitutional torts, bioethics, domestic violence, privacy and data security, and torts.

Program participants will visit the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The law firm of King & Spalding will host a cocktail reception to welcome the delegation.

We welcome inquiries from other judiciaries whose specific needs and interests may be met by our International Judicial Research and Training Program.

Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow Program Continues to Draw Outstanding Scholars

Every year, Fordham Law welcomes some 100 distinguished visitors to the Law School to pursue independent research. The program strives to fully integrate these visitors into our community and provide them with a complete experience—one that includes a colloquium at which visitors present their research, study groups on topics of interest to current visitors, and occasional happy hours or other social events.

Recent presentations at the Visiting Scholar and Research Fellows Colloquium include the following:

  • Antonia Baraggia – University of Turin (Italy)
    New Trends in Nationality Law: A Comparative Overview
  • Esther Giménez-Salinas – Universitat Ramon Llull (Spain)
    Imprisonment and Restorative Justice: A Comparative Analysis between Europe and the U.S.
  • Paola Milioto – Alma Mater Studiorum Bologna (Italy)
    Taxation of Transnational Salary Income: A Comparison between Italy and USA National and Conventional Law
  • Jan Frohloff – University of Mainz (Germany)
    Breach of Commercial Arbitration Agreements
  • Konstantina Bania – European University Institute (Italy)
    Abuse of Dominance in Online Search: Google as the New Bottleneck for Content Access
  • Giao Vucong – Vietnam National University Hanoi School of Law (Vietnam)
    Access to Justice in Vietnam: Situation and Perspective
  • Ana Felícitas Muñoz Pérez – Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain)
    Derivatives, Empty Voting and Corporate Governance
  • Nelleke Koffeman – Leiden University (Netherlands)
    National Moral Choices and Cross-border Movement within the EU: A Need for (European) Legislation?
  • Lécia Vicente – European University Institute (Italy)
    The Law and Economics of Restrictions on Transfers of Shares: Taming Property Rights in Shares and the Silver Fox
  • Min Zhang – Northwestern Polytechnical University (P.R. China)
    Study on Legal Research and Practice on Corporate Social Responsibility in China
  • Guilherme Moraes – Peña de Moraes Law Office (Chile)
    Persuasive Use of Foreign Jurisprudence by Constitutional Courts
  • Nicolas Hoberdon – Institut Droit Dauphine - University Paris-Dauphine (France)
    The Antitrust Implications of Private Equity Club Deals
  • Maciej Konrad Borowicz – European University Institute (Italy)
    Accountability in Transnational Contractual Governance
  • Tom Frey – University of Zurich Law School (Switzerland)
    Proof of Damages in the Event of Lack of Evidence

Visiting Research Fellow Profile: Levan Bodzashvili

Mr. Levan Bodzashvili is an expert in Georgian constitutional law and has worked within the Georgian judiciary for more than 16 years. He is currently the Head of Administration of the Constitutional Court, which includes the Judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, and the High Council of Justice. He began this work just after the Georgian Constitution was adopted in 1995. He has served as a member of each State Constitutional Commission tasked with amending the Georgian Constitution. He has also held many high-level governmental positions in Georgia, including Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Departmental Director at the Ministry of Justice. He also served as a member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law and was part of the staff of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union Rule of Law Mission.

Prior to beginning his illustrious career, Mr. Bodzashvili studied at Tbilisi State University Law faculty, where he received his B.A. and LL.M., specializing in constitutional law. He went on to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and the College of Europe in Belgium.

Mr. Bodzashvili began his visit at Fordham Law in February 2013. His research project focuses on U.S. and comparative constitutional law, particularly in connection with criminal cases. When asked why he chose to visit Fordham Law to conduct his research, Mr. Bodzashvili responded that he’d heard of the great opportunities Fordham Law offers to international students, researchers, and academics and that the reputation “is just as high-level as it can be in any top level university worldwide.” 

He noted that Fordham Law has well designed programs, an extensive library, and faculty engagement, all of which appealed to him. Having studied and worked on cooperative programs in many universities in Europe and the U.S., Mr. Bodzashvili describes Fordham Law as “one of the best choices I have ever made.” In addition, Mr. Bodzashvili notes that New York City is a fantastic location for a research sabbatical.

Mr. Bodzashvili also points to the culture at Fordham Law as one of its strongest assets, saying that everyone at Fordham Law has been extremely friendly and helpful. He notes that Assistant Dean Toni M. Jaeger-Fine is “an extraordinary personality” both professionally and personally and that he’s had a “genuinely extraordinary and unforgettable experience” with the program. 

Dean Fine's World Travels

In the past year, Assistant Dean Toni M. Fine has taught or lectured in the following places:
  • Zagreb, Croatia: University of Zagreb and Catholic University of Croatia
  • Recife, Brazil: Encontro Mundial de Escolas de Magistratura and Marista University School of Law 
  • Chapecó, Brazil: Universidade do Oeste de Canta Catarina
  • Curitiba, Brazil: Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana and UniBrasil
  • Florianópolis, Brazil: Tribunal de Justica do Santa Caterina
  • Mexico City, Mexico: Universidad Panamericana
  • Pamplona, Spain: University of Pamplona
  • Madrid, Spain: University San Pablo CEU
  • Torino, Italy: University of Torino
  • Hanoi, Vietnam: Fourth International Conference on Vietnamese Studies
  • Manaus, Brazil: Escola Superior da Magistratura do Amazonas
  • Alicante, Spain: University of Alicante
  • Cologne, Germany: German-American Lawyers Association