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Back to February 2, 2009

Fordham at Work: Andrew Chapin









 

Fordham At Work:
Andrew Chapin


WHO HE IS
Director, Public Interest Scholars and Counseling, Public Interest Resource Center, Fordham Law.

TIME AT FORDHAM
Four and a half years

WHAT HE DOES
Andrew works with law students and the Stein Scholars Program, which is geared toward students who want training and experience in public interest law. Through one-on-one sessions and group programs, he gives support and counseling about participating in, and making a career out of, public service law.

BACKGROUND
He volunteered and then worked in the Legal Department of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in the 1980s before moving to Columbia Law School, where he served as executive assistant to the dean of career services/information systems/admissions, and then as a counselor.

VOLUNTEERING
“At Gay Men’s Health Crisis, I did many things—from crisis management with clients to community education and peer counseling in the gay community. Part of that was counseling people about their careers, which I continue to do today.”

STEIN SCHOLARS
“In Stein Scholars, we have about 70 students who arrived at law school with very focused interest in the public sector. More than a program, Stein is a community of like-minded individuals who support, teach and help each other to pursue common goals.”

PROGRAMS
“A recent program was about preparing for a public interest job fair, because students aren’t always aware of what is most marketable to an employer. Receiving academic credit or bringing your own funding to an externship is highly valuable. It shows that the student has a material commitment to seeing the work experience through to the end.”

WHY FORDHAM?
“I work with most other law schools, but the feeling of community at Fordham is unique. It’s 360 degrees of camaraderie, support and caring for each other. A few other institutions may in some ways have more prestige, but none has our sense of community. This makes Fordham not just a job, it’s a destination.”

SURFING
“An important law conference was held in Hawaii, and I paid to stay an extra day to take a surfing lesson. At first, surfing is exhausting; then it’s thrilling. The exhausting part is getting in position to catch the wave; the thrilling part is once you’ve caught it. Something like developing a great career.”


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