Faculty Award Winners to be Honored at Graduation
Each year before graduation, Fordham Law students honor individuals in the Fordham community. This year, Professor Joseph Landau was selected as Teacher of the Year, Judge Richard J. Sullivan was named Adjunct of the Year, and Hillary Exter, Director of Student Organizations and Publicity at the Public Interest Resource Center, was given the Eugene O. Keefe award.
Landau, famous for his enthusiastic approach to Civil Procedure, said he enjoys teaching the topic “because it provides lawyers with a framework based on certain foundational premises—party autonomy, efficiency and fairness—and gives lawyers mechanisms for thinking creatively about how to resolve unforeseen problems that arise in litigation.”
He said he wants students to understand that rules in the law are not obscure and arcane, but rather part of a unified system of problem solving.
Sullivan hopes to teach white-collar crime again (he taught it for three years until 2010), as well as courses in originalism or law and religion, but says his busy career as a new judge may prevent him from taking on so much work—at least for the next decade and a half.
“I teach a course every semester—the Judicial Externship seminar in the summer, Trial Advocacy in the fall, and a sentencing seminar up at Columbia in the spring,” said Sullivan. “In addition, I try to make myself available to help the Moot Court program whenever I can. All that comes on top of my day job, which is more demanding than any job I’ve ever had. As a result, I’m here in chambers pretty late most nights. I sometimes wish there were more hours in the day. But I’m enjoying all of it immensely.”
Exter, who works closely with students seeking public interest careers, said she is looking forward to staying busy during fellowship season.
“It is so wonderful to work with Fordham students at the beginning of their legal career—it’s so very beautiful to see students’ growth and development from their first to third or fourth (evening) and then to keep in touch as they go on to do meaningful work,” she said. “I am continually inspired by the passion, commitment, initiative, creativity and hard work of Fordham students.”
Each of this year’s winners also had advice for the graduating class.
“Your careers will take turns that are unforeseeable right now, and that’s probably a good thing. The point is not to land your dream job immediately after law school, but to get experience so that you can make the best choices possible about what to do next” offered Landau.
Sullivan said it’s important simply to remain passionate about practicing law, in whatever form that takes, and to seek out strong mentorships.
Exter said students should work hard and play hard, something she expects to do now that summer is here. “I am also looking forward to spending lots of time over the weekend outside—hiking, biking, kayaking, watercolor painting, outdoor concerts.”
The award winners will all be honored at this year’s graduation ceremony.
–David Harvey, Editor-in-Chief