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The Institute on Religion, Law & Lawyer's Work provides a forum for lawyers and students to reflect on Religious Values and the Practice of Law. Lectures gathers practicing attorneys and judges in the New York metropolitan area to discuss the key issues and concerns they face in their efforts to reconcile their professional lives with their faith, and how they can work together from different religious in order to foster the common good.

The Institute's programs run along three tracks.


Upcoming Programs

Past Programs

 Whose Law? Christians and Jews Rethink the Pharisees

 Rethinking Social, Economic and Sustainable Practices to Foster Environmental Justice

The impending doom of climate change hovers global conversation in recent times. It revolves around finding a sustainable solution to the equitable dispensation of scarce natural resources. The injustice gap is visible in current flawed social and political systems trends that celebrate division instead of togetherness. To search for solutions, we hosted a conversation with experts to explore novel strategies to cure the irreversible imminent global disaster.

Race issues and Education in America

The 2020 uprisings reveal the urgency for centering racial equity in America's civic life. Our first webinar of the series Racial Equity and Interfaith Cooperation discusses policies around education, healthcare, and more.


Laudato Si at 5: Climate Justice and Ecological Citizenship in times of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home reaches its fifth anniversary amid a pandemic that has the power to transform ways of working, commuting, and connecting. This dialogue explores the ecological crisis in times of COVID-19 from a moral, economic, and legal perspective. It also reveals the deep inequities in our society, including environmental injustice that harms human health.

Coexistence and Reconciliation in Israel — Voices for Interreligious Dialogue

* "Inter-religious Dialogue – A New Trend?”

On March 29, 2015 Catholic lawyer Francisco Canzani and Argentinean Rabbi Silvina Chemen  led a workshop for young adults, providing them tools, methods and resources to build bridges between people of different cultures, religions and backgrounds.

* The Promise and Potential of Catholic-Jewish Dialogue: Learning from Pope Francis and the Argentinian Example

An Argentinean Rabbi, a Catholic Lawyer and their work and experience of dialogue.

Rabbi Silvina Chemen and Francisco Canzani recently wrote a book together based on a life experience built over many years, making them protagonists and experts on the art of dialogue.

The book, now published in English - “A Dialogue of Life: Towards the encounter of Jews and Christians” - wants to be a contribution to motivate Christians and Jews with any kind of involvement in their own religious communities, to begin the way of dialogue.

Fordham News about this event.

* Representing Palestinian Rights in the Israeli Supreme Court: Client Loyalty, Social Change and Political Legitimacy

On November 5, 2014 Neta Ziv, Visiting Professor at Fordham Law School presented this topic with the comments of Professor Russell G. Pearce, the Edward & Marilyn Bellet Chair in Legal Ethics, Morality and Religion at Fordham University School of Law, in a crowed room filled with students interested by this sensitive issue.

  • "I am your protector" panel and exhibition highlighting people of the three monotheist religions who have been heroes in protecting others. (More details to follow) 
  • "Lessons From Charlie Hebdo: Free Speech Or Hate Speech?" (More details to follow)





Christian Lawyer's Program

Upcoming Events


Past Events

Book series: Can we talk about Racism? - A conversation with Linda McClain about her book Who’s the Bigot? Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law.

Book series: Common Good Constitutionalism - A panel discussion on Adrian Vermeule's book

Book series: Catholic Discordance - A talk and panel discussion on Massimo Borghesi's book

* Pope Francis: The Vocation of the Lawyer

On April 29, 2015 CU Professor Lucia Silecchia, Villanova Professor Michael P. Moreland and US District Judge Richard J. Sullivan explored how Pope Francis and the Catholic Social Teachings of the Church impact the practice of law and the lives of lawyers.

* Bishop Sheen: America’s Most Iconic Catholic and Communicator

On February 12, 2015 Msgr. Hilary C. Franco presented his book "Bishop Sheen, Mentor and Friend". In this conversation with the author, Susan Whelan discussed the last twelve years of Archbishop Sheen’s life and his prophetic observations on the Church in the United States following Vatican II. 

* Susan Whelan: Personal and professional choices - Living out moral ideals and religious beliefs in a modern world

On November 12, 2014 Fordham Law School's Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyer's Work continues its focus on the work of Pope Francis with a conversation between Fordham Professor Christine Hinze and author Susan Whelan of the challenges faced by young, highly-educated professionals in achieving success in their public and private lives. In her book The Scholar and The Housewife, Whelan, a lawyer and mother of six children now in their twenties, discusses events and people that have informed her personal and professional choices, sharing insights and guiding principles for living out moral ideals and religious beliefs in a modern world.

* Pope Francis: The First Year

On October 14, 2014 Fordham Law School’s Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyer’s Work introduced a new series on Pope Francis and his contribution to religious, policy, and legal conversations. On October 14, the inaugural program in the series focused on Pope Francis’ first year as leader of the Catholics in the world. 

* Evangelii Gaudium: the challenges of today's world

On October 6, 2014 The second session of the series Evangelii Guadium: the challenges of today's world took place on October 2014. The discussion about “The Common Good and Peace in Society” was directly related to lawyer's daily work. Professor Kathleen Scanlon brought an extraordinary contribution to the event, presenting a thoughtful and concrete relation between the pillars proposed by Pope Francis and the legal profession. Here some of the questions discussed: "Conflict cannot be ignored or concealed. It has to be faced." - how a lawyer helps their clients when conflict arises? and how can we avoid the temptation of becoming "prisoners of conflict"? "Globalization and localization" - How this innate tension connects with our work as lawyers? How a life of a community connects with my Law School community and my legal career?"  


Jewish Lawyer's Program

Upcoming Events

March 23, 6:30 PM - Lecture on the book: TORAH IN A TIME OF PLAGUE with authors Erin and Ethan Leib.

April 20, 6 PM  - Lecture on the book: American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York

May -  Magda Teter, “Christian Supremacy: Reckoning with the Roots of Antisemitism and Racism” Book Launch and panel discussion with Magda Teter, Bryan Massingale, Jed Sugarman, moderated by David Gibson.


Past Events

Freeing Agunot in Practice: Aspects of the New York Experience

Jewish Law Lecture - The Crown and the Courts: Separation of Powers in the Early Jewish Imagination

The Plight of the Agunah: Identification Amelioration Resolution

On February 13,  2020, the Agunah panel discussion concentrated on the particular problem of Jewish women whose husbands refuse to grant them a bill of divorce (Get) and who are, therefore, unable to remarry under Jewish law. The discussion aimed to highlight the problem's scope and raise awareness of current practices available for its amelioration.

Rabbinic Law as Culture: How the Talmudic Rabbis Transformed Everything into a Legal Question and Jewish Law into a Way of Talking about Everything

Wolff Lecture 2016: Maimonides and Contemporary Tort Theory: Law, Religion, Economics and Morality

 * "Jewish Law and Contemporary Issues"

* Wolff Lecture: Undecided Verdicts: Jewish Law’s Respect For Doubt, Uncertainty And Ambiguity

On January 12, 2015 Rabbi Blanchard presented how legal decisions often aim at certainty and sometimes even at finality. Most decisions however will settle for good arguments that provide predictability within the legal system, learning to tolerate “seeing through a glass darkly”. In contrast, the Jewish legal system as a whole and over time appreciates and values multiple positions and approaches to both cases and issues of law. This lecture explored this open and tolerant quality of Jewish legal texts in civil, family and religious law.


Muslim Lawyer's Program

Upcoming Events

Past Events

From Karbala to Myanmar: Fighting Injustice and Keeping their Stories Alive

Zaid Hydari, co-founder of Refugee Solidarity Network, and Professor Zahra Takhshid discussed the battle of Karbala and Imam Hussain's legacy and the crisis of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. They widely tackled how institutions such as Refugee Solidarity Network are helping Rohingya immigrants.

American Muslim Civil Rights after 9/11
On September 23, 2014, the Institute co-sponsored with the Feerick Center a discussion led by Faiza Patel, the co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, which seeks to ensure that our counterterrorism laws and policies respect human rights norms and fundamental freedoms. The discussion focused on the American Muslim civil rights after 9/11.



The Institute organizes the Faculty Colloquia on Jesuit Values and the Law School and also offers its collaboration for the multi-school Catholic Legal Thought Conference, a summer institute for law professors.