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Paula A. Franzese


Adjunct Professor of Law

Professor Paula Franzese, the Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, is one of the country's leading experts in property law, housing reform, and government ethics. Nationally renowned for her excellence in teaching, a recent book names Prof. Franzese one of 26 "best law teachers in the United States." The book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press), profiles in detail the pedagogical approach that renders her a "dazzlingly effective model of rigor, hard work, creativity and humility." She has been named one of twenty Inspiring Women in Education by sheknows media and has presented on education as a human right at the United Nations International Human Rights Summit, Youth for Human Rights and at various teaching summits and symposia across the country.
The author of numerous books and publications, Prof. Franzese’s scholarship in the area of housing law includes critical examination of landlord tenant law, common interest communities, homeowners associations and the dilemma of privatization, the law of servitudes, exclusionary zoning, affordable housing, adverse possession doctrine and takings law, joining in the submission to the U.S. Supreme Court of an amicus brief in the Kelo case. Her empirical work on the plight of low-income tenants facing eviction has been widely cited, garnering national attention, and her
recent scholarship shines a light on the crisis in safe and affordable housing,  spurring state and federal legislative reform efforts.

Prof. Franzese has spearheaded ethics reform initiatives on behalf of three governors, serving as Special Ethics Counsel to Governor Richard J. Codey, Chair of the State Ethics Commission, Vice-Chair of the Election Law Enforcement Commission, Vice-Chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Special Committee on Attorney Ethics and Admissions and as ethics advisor to state and local governments across the country, including Mayor Cory Booker's administration in Newark. She received the National Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Award, the highest honor conferred by the organization, in recognition of her "significant, demonstrable and positive contributions to the fields of campaign finance, elections, ethics, freedom of information and lobbying over a significant period of time." Among her groundbreaking initiatives in those arenas, she and retired Justice Daniel J. O'Hern promulgated the Uniform Ethics Code, a pioneering statutory achievement and model for national replication. She has published extensively on the best practices for ethics reform of state and local governments. She serves as Chair of the State Commission on Professionalism.
Nationally recognized for her excellence in teaching, Prof. Franzese is the unprecedented ten-time recipient of the Student Bar Association's Professor of the Year Award, has been named "Exemplary Teacher" by the American Association of Higher Education, was ranked the Top Law Professor in New Jersey by the New Jersey Law Journal and was named Faculty Teacher of the Year by Seton Hall University. Featured in What the Best Law Teachers Do, she has demonstrated and deconstructed her pedagogical expertise on teaching as both art and science at workshops and conferences across the country. She served as Distinguished Teaching and Learning Professor at the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law. Prof. Franzese is the Gilbert's "Legend of the Law" in Property (West) and the national Property and Secured Transactions lecturer for the BAR/BRI bar review course. She is the past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Teaching Methods and served as Vice-Chair of the Legal Education Section of the American Bar Association.
Committed to education reform and civic engagement, Prof. Franzese serves on the Boards of Trustees of Mount St. Dominic Academy, St. Catherine of Siena School and the Community Health Law Project. She has pioneered the cause of law-related education and informed mentoring initiatives throughout the country as Past President of the Justice Resource Center. Her presentations on the importance of teachers have been showcased at teacher summits, leadership academies, bench-bar symposia and school district convocations. She established the Leadership Fellows Program at Seton Hall Law School and teaches civics, leadership and character to middle-school students.
Prof. Franzese is the author of Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Property (Aspen), a contributor to America's Second Gilded Age? Perspectives on Law and Class Differences (NYU Press), The Affective Assistance of Counsel: Practicing Law as a Healing Profession (Carolina Academic Press), and Reaction and Reform in New Jersey (Hall Institute). She co-authored Property Law and the Public Interest, which expansively explored the public interest dimensions of Property law. She serves on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed Land Use and Environmental Law Review.
Prof. Franzese is the creator of the Short and Happy Guide book series (West) and is the author of A Short and Happy Guide to Property (2d ed.), A Short and Happy Guide to Sales, A Short and Happy Guide to Being a Law Student and A Short and Happy Guide to Being a College Student. Excerpts can be found at
Prof. Franzese is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the recipient of numerous awards, including the St.Thomas More Medal of Honor, the YWCA Woman of Influence Award, the Women Lawyers Association Trailblazer Award, the State Bar Foundation's Medal of Honor and the Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal, the University's highest honor.
Prof. Franzese received her B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she was awarded the Bryson Prize, Alpha Zeta Fellowship, Marion Churchill White Prize, Davidson-Foreman Foundation Award and Barnard Alumnae Fellowship, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was an International Fellow, Teaching Fellow and recipient of the prestigious Rosenman Prize for excellence in public law courses.Prof. Franzese was a litigator with Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, where she served as a member of the New York City Housing Court Reform Project. She clerked for Justice Alan B. Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court.