Meet the Team
Jordana Alter Confino - Director of Professionalism and Special Projects; Adjunct Professor of Law
Faculty page: Jordana Alter Confino
Jordana Alter Confino joined Fordham Law School in summer 2019 as the Director of Professionalism and Special Projects. In that role, Jordana oversees all aspects of the Professionalism Office’s work, including the 1L house system and the Law School’s wellness, professionalism, and peer mentorship offerings. Jordana also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching Positive Lawyering and Peer Mentoring & Leadership. She was voted Fordham Law Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2021.
Prior to joining Fordham, Jordana served as the Assistant Director of Academic Counseling, Acting Clerkship Advisor, and a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School. Jordana previously clerked for the Honorable Robert D. Sack on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for the Honorable Paul A. Engelmayer on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Jordana is an expert in lawyer and law student mental health and well-being. She serves as Co-Chair of the General Programming Committee of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Balance in Legal Education, and as a member of the Law School Assistance Committee of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, the ABA Attorney Well-Being Committee, and the NYC Bar Association Mindfulness & Well-Being in Law Committee.
Jordana earned a Certification in Applied Positive Psychology from the New York Open Center in 2018.
• Jordana A. Confino, Where Are We on the Path to Law Student Well-Being?: Report on the ABA CoLAP Law Student Assistance Committee Law School Wellness Survey, J. Legal Education
• Jordana A. Confino, The Power of Kindness and Appreciation: Lessons from One Law School’s Experience Building a Gratitude Wall, Thrive Global (Dec. 2, 2019).
• Jordana A. Confino, Reining in Perfectionism, Law Practice Today (Jan. 14, 2019).
• Jordana A. Confino, Burning the Candle at Both Ends Backfires, Law Practice Today (Aug. 15, 2018).
• Fordham Law Newsroom, Jordana Confino Joins Fordham Law School as New Director of Professionalism and Special Projects, Fordham Law News (Sept. 5, 2019).
• Self-Care and Wellness in the New Year, Fordham News (Jan. 15, 2020).
• Yale Law School, J.D.
• Yale University, BA
Linda Sugin - Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor of Law
Administrative Assistant: Cynthia Cameron
Fordham Law School’s professionalism program reflects Linda Sugin’s vision for expanding the scope of legal education to include emotional support, leadership training, and essential skills that are not traditionally included in the law school curriculum. As Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Sugin designed and launched the Law School’s two signature professional programs: the Peer Mentorship Program and the House System.
The defining feature of the Peer Mentorship Program is an academic course for mentors developed and taught by Sugin and adjunct teachers under her supervision. In 2020, the instructors joined with the student affinity groups to strengthen both intra-cultural and inter-cultural mentoring and community at the law school.
The Law School’s 2016 Strategic Plan, which focused on the student experience, imagined a House System as a central component of the Law School’s effort to build a stronger community for students. Under Sugin’s leadership, the House System has grown into an integrated support system for first-year students that engages faculty, administrators, and upper-level students.
In addition to launching these two signature professionalism programs, Sugin overhauled the Law School’s orientation program. Under Sugin’s leadership, the August orientation for incoming students was reconceptualized to focus on professional identity development and emotional preparation for law school. These new elements of August orientation were introduced in 2018 and continue to develop. They were crafted to supplement and dovetail with the other academic-focused programs in orientation, including Quantitative Methods for Lawyers, a four-part course on quantitative tools that lawyers need to understand, which Sugin spearheaded in 2014 and continues to lead. Sugin also created a new January orientation for first-year students, first implemented in 2020, as a day focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion—a crucial component of professionalism education for law students. In the fall of 2019, she worked with the full-time faculty to add diversity, equity, and inclusion training to full-time faculty development. Sugin also implemented mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training for all adjunct faculty prior to the start of the semester in fall 2020. She chaired a committee of faculty, students, alumni and administrators to search for the Law School’s Assistant Dean of Students and Diversity and recruited Kimathi Gordon-Somers to the role in February 2020.
Recognizing the breadth of professionalism training that may benefit students, Sugin recruited new adjunct faculty to the Law School to build out the academic curriculum focused on nontraditional professional skills, professional identity formation, and professional values. As associate dean, she added new courses on transitioning from law student to lawyer, the lawyer as business advisor, diversity in law practice, positive psychology and lawyering, the job of in-house counsel, and law firm practice management. She also worked with the library to build programs and courses focused on student mastery of electronic resources and technology-based legal skills.
In 2019, Sugin created the position of director of professionalism and recruited Jordana Confino into that role to bring wellness expertise and a greater focus on student mental health to the Law School, within the umbrella of academic affairs. Sugin and Confino collaborate closely on all aspects of the Office of Professionalism’s work.
Sugin has been on the faculty since 1994 and has taught courses in Federal Taxation, Tax Policy, Nonprofit Organizations, Corporations, Contracts, and Quantitative Methods. Sugin was the 2007 recipient of Fordham Law School’s Teacher of the Year Award and the 2021 recipient of the Dean’s Medal of Achievement. Her full faculty profile is here.
• The Social Meaning of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, 2018 Yale L.J.F. 403
• Competitive Philanthropy: Charitable Naming Rights, Inequality, and Social Norms, 79 Ohio State L.J. 122 (2018)
Research and Teaching Areas
• Nonprofits/Charities; Tax–Individual
• Income Taxation
• Nonprofit Organizations and Philanthropy
• Tax Policy and Distributive Justice
• Harvard, BA
• New York University, JD
Maya FitzGerald - Fellow in Leadership and Professional Excellence
Office: Room 8-123
Maya FitzGerald joined Fordham Law School as the Fellow in Leadership and Professional Excellence in the spring of 2021. She provides support to the Office of Professionalism through her work on the advising and peer mentorship programs, the 1L house system, and various wellness and professionalism projects. Previously, Maya worked at Georgetown University Law Center on the RISE program, an initiative that serves law students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the legal field.
• Franklin & Marshall College, BA
• Georgetown University, MPS in Higher Education Administration