Martha Rayner

FLS Faculty Martha Rayner 240x240 SM

Clinical Associate Professor of Law

Telephone: 212-636-6941
Office: Room 9-108 (150 West 62nd Street, Ninth Floor)

Research and Teaching Areas

Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; War


Professor Rayner has been a clinical teacher at Fordham since 1998. She has taught in the Criminal Defense Clinic and then created the International Justice Clinic, a broad based, problem solving clinic in which students engage in litigation, diplomatic and political advocacy, outreach and public education in the domestic and international spheres on behalf of clients indefinitely imprisoned without charges by the United States military at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

She began practicing law as a public defender at the Legal Aid Society and went on to be one of the founding members of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, a community based, model public defender office that redefined public defense from the traditional notion of working within the span of arraignment to conviction, to a broader demarcation of pre-arrest to post-disposition “after care.” At NDS, she developed a special unit that provided representation to clients facing the civil consequences of criminal accusations. Areas of practice included family law, housing, civil rights, immigration and forfeiture, from trial to appellate level.

She is a proud member of the first graduating class of CUNY Law School and has taught in Fordham Law School’s Summer Ireland Program.

Selected Publications

  • The Practitioner’s View: Clients at Guantanamo; The Global Effects of Wrongful Detention, Torture, and Unchecked Executive Power Symposium, 10 New York City Law Review 405, 2007
  • Roadblocks to Effective Representation of Uncharged, Indefinitely Imprisoned Clients at Guantanamo Bay Military Base, 30 Fordham Int. L. J. 485, 2007
  • Conference Report: New York City’s Criminal Courts: Are We Achieving Justice?, 31 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1023, 2004


  • City University of New York School of Law, JD, 1986
  • Clark University, BA, 1980