About Us

The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) . . .

  • is the place where Fordham Law students can devote their passions, interests, and skills to pro bono, public service and community service work from their first week in law school. PIRC is the home of dynamic student–run organizations involved in public interest work.

  • is a place where students are introduced to rewarding public interest work—through participation in PIRC student groups and a rich array of public service career support.

  • provides support to the ever-growing number of public interest student groups by providing a physical home with up-to-date office technology and supplies as well as staff who are available as mentors and liaisons to enable the student groups to carry out their important missions.  PIRC is a very welcoming place where students plan activities, share information and get to know like-minded students.  Students committed to public interest feel and those interested in exploring the work for the first time, can feel at home in PIRC.

  • counsels students who are exploring public service work, complement the services provided by the Career Planning Center.


Tom Schoenherr

Assistant Dean of Public Interest Resource Center

Email:  tschoenherr@law.fordham.edu

Dean Tom Schoenherr is the founder of the Public Interest Resource Center at Fordham Law School and has served as its director since it was established in 1991. Previously he was the Associate Director of the Career Planning Center at Fordham Law School for 5 years. He has counseled thousands of law students and alumni extensively in all phases of career planning and development.

Dean Schoenherr has been a moderator and a speaker on numerous public interest career panels at conferences including: the American Bar Association/National Legal Aid and Defenders Association (ABA/NLADA) Equal Justice Conference, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), Equal Justice Works (EJW), Lavender Law, the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY), the Lesbian & Gay Law Association of New York (LeGaL), and the New York County Lawyer’s Association. He is a member of the ABA, AALS, the New York State Bar Association's Pro Bono Coordinators' Network, the ABCNY’s Public Service Network, and the NYC Metro Law School Public Interest Administrators Network. He did his graduate coursework in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at New York University and holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Binghamton University.

Dean Schoenherr currently serves as the co-chair of the National Advisory Committee of EJW. He has also served as the chair of the AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities, chair of NALP’s Public Service Committee and LGBT Committee, and as the Member-at-Large on NALP’s National Board of Directors.

Andrew Chapin

Director of Counseling and Public Interest Scholars

Email:  achapin@law.fordham.edu

Andrew Chapin came to this position in September, 2004 with more than 12 years of experience advising New York City law students and attorneys about their legal careers, and producing and participating in legal career programs and job fairs. For more than 3 years, Andrew was Associate Director of Career Planning at City University of New York School of Law, and for more than 9 years prior to that, he was a Placement Officer in Career Services at Columbia University School of Law. Andrew has additional experience working in the Department of Legal Services at Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the Office of General Counsel at COS Computer Systems, and providing support services to attorneys and partners at several Manhattan law firms.

Andrew’s undergraduate degree was earned at Columbia University, and his two graduate degrees, Master of Art & Master of Education, in counseling, were earned at Columbia University, Teachers College. An active openly gay participant in increasing diversity and ensuring civil rights, and equal opportunity and benefits in employment, Andrew is a member of various committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York County Bar Association, American Association of Law Schools, American Bar Association, and National Association for Law Placement. Andrew is a member of and/or volunteers with several organizations including Ali Forney Center, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda LEDF, Habitat for Humanity, NAACP and ACLU. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys travel, beaches, cooking, gyms, 12 steps, and all things French or Brazilian.

Leah Horowitz

Director of Student Organizations and Publicity

Email: lhorowitz2@law.fordham.edu

Leah Horowitz received her law degree from Fordham Law School and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University. During her years at Fordham, Leah was a Stein Scholar and served as the president of two PIRC student organizations. Upon graduation, Leah worked as a public defender at the Bronx Defenders for nine years. While at the Bronx Defenders, in addition to zealously representing clients, Leah created the Client Library to provide books to incarcerated and non-incarcerated clients and started an initiative to address Solitary Confinement. 

Leah is admitted to the Bar in New York and Connecticut.

Abby Hernandez-Brown

Office Manager

Email: ahbrown@law.fordham.edu

Abby Hernandez-Brown is the Office Manager for the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) at Fordham University School of Law. She has worked at the PIRC since June 2000 and serves as a liaison between PIRC and all other administrative offices and public interest student organizations. She should be contacted for general information about PIRC, to schedule appointments with the PIRC Directors and the Assistant Dean, and for any technical assistance requests or budget issues from PIRC student groups.

In May of 2000, Abby received a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Psychology and Sociology from Fordham College Rose Hill. While pursuing her Bachelors, Abby worked part-time with the Sociology Department at Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus for 3 years and worked 1 year with Rose Hill’s Career Planning & Office of Disability Services. She currently has her Master of Science degree in Adult Education & Human Resource Development with a concentration in Continuing Higher Education which she obtained at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education at Lincoln Center, May 2009. She has served as a volunteer with the Coalition for Debtor Education and has served as a mentor with the Student Sponsor Partners at her alma mater Aquinas High School.

Public Interest Resource Center

Fordham University School of Law
Public Interest Resource Center
150 West 62nd Street, Room LL-100, New York , NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-6952

Fax: 212-636-7189

Email: pirc@law.fordham.edu