Grace Lozito manages clinical and experiential learning at Fordham School of Law, which inlcudes one of the largest legal clinics in the country.
Who she is
Grace Lozito, administrative director for clinical and experiential learning at Fordham School of Law
What she does
Lozito is in charge of all operations for the law school’s clinical and experiential learning. She manages a staff of 10 and three programs: the school’s clinics, the externship program, and a basic skills program called “Fundamental Lawyering Skills.” The program has approximately 20 faculty, and all of them are both full-time on our staff and also practice law.
“Each clinic (there are 13–15 clinics running during any given semester) has anywhere from 8 to 18 students a semester, and the support staff act like paralegals that you’d find in a law firm. Our job is to support both the students and the faculty with their cases. That could involve things like submitting a filing to court on time, knowing the court rules for certain types of cases, or updating the clients on their cases.”
Of course, there are plenty of administrative projects and routine tasks to keep everyone busy. It’s one of the largest legal clinics in the country.”
How she came to the job
“I had the same job for three years at Seton Hall Law School. I went to law school and taught legal research and writing there for a couple of years. I came here six years ago because I wanted to get back to the city. My kids are grown, and they all live here, and I lived in New Jersey for 30 years. My intention was always to move back; last year I sold my house and moved into Battery Park City.”
Best thing about her job
“It is what you bring to it. After working in publishing for 20 years, I bring to it some marketing concepts. I also do statistics to measure our assessments on things like what sources we get our clinical applications from, what types of students are applying to the clinics, and what kinds of clinics they’re interested in. It’s a more administrative job, but still keep my toes immersed in the legal arena. I miss going to court, but I get to help students out—resolve a situation or a disagreement, or look up a court rule for them.”
“Managing so many people in this space. There are 360 students coming and going, and sometimes that makes the space a little problematic. We’ve only got one conference room; the library might be blocked off because they’re taking a deposition in there; or all the simulation rooms might be taken. There might be 25 people in our waiting room asking ‘Where should I go, what should I do?’
“Technically, we are a law firm. We’re obliged to obey the rules of professional conduct, which includes confidentiality. You have to make sure that students don’t leave their papers out, or that clients can’t see our computer screens. We’re not neurotic about that, but it’s just a violation of the rules. We can’t be careless.”
What she does for fun
“Gallivanting on the weekends! I traipse all over—to the Village to get cheeses at the Italian stores, to the Upper East Side, and then someplace else to get a manicure. I feel like all of Manhattan is my neighborhood. I even drive my car to work, up the West Side highway, and I love it. There are flowers, grasses, and the Hudson River, and there are ferries, boats, and helicopters. The sun is shining and the water is glistening. For 15 minutes, that puts a smile on my face and on the day.”