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1L Professionalism Curriculum

Recognizing that professional identity formation begins the moment students enter law school, Fordham Law has structured a robust 1L professionalism curriculum designed to support students’ professional growth beginning on day one and ensure that key professionalism lessons reach every student.

August Orientation and January Day

Through our August Orientation program, we introduce students to professional competencies in a practical, meaningful way the moment they arrive on campus.  Programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Professionalism Primer: Introductory overview of the broad range of professional competencies valued by legal employers and the critical role well-being plays in academic and professional, as well as personal, success
  • Developing Your Professional Persona: Interactive workshop designed to help students begin developing their professional identities by contemplating their strengths and values, and practicing key professional skills such as listening, empathy, and supporting others
  • Understanding Unconscious Bias: Interactive workshop designed to educate students about implicit bias and help cultivate cultural sensitivity and awareness
  • Professionalism Panel: Panel discussion featuring distinguished alumni discussing the core pillars of professionalism, including honesty, respect, civility, and integrity, and how they manifest in practice

The 1L Spring Orientation or “January Day” builds on these lessons by offering additional professionalism programs designed to broaden students’ awareness of self and others, as well as their repertoires of professional skills.  Past offerings have included:

  • Navigating Challenging Conversations: Interactive program designed to heal polarization by helping students practice communicating across differences and disagreeing for understanding
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Best Practices for Cultivating Inclusive Environments:  Interactive workshop designed to strengthen students’ cultural awareness and offer them practical tools and strategies for disrupting unconscious bias and micro-aggressions and becoming inclusive leaders

Fall House System Curriculum

The 1L House System programming interweaves key professionalism lessons throughout the yearlong 1L co-curriculum. House sessions provide students with opportunities to learn about and begin honing valuable social, emotional, and cultural competencies, and to practice these skills alongside their housemates, house leaders, house liaisons, and BSA advisors. House professionalism programs include:

  • Wellness 101: Strategies for Maintaining Health and Happiness in Law School & Practice: Interactive presentation designed to introduce students to the broad array of mental health and wellness resources available to them as Fordham Law students, and teach them practical strategies they can use to manage stress and cultivate resilience and well-being throughout law school and law practice
  • Racial Equity & Inclusion: Small-group workshop in which students come together with their classmates and other members of the house community for a facilitated conversation about race and racism in America, and the impact that structural racism has on our society, our community, and the legal profession
  • Secrets to Success: Growth Mindset & Resilience: Interactive workshop designed to teach students skills and strategies they can use to cultivate a growth mindset and foster resilience in their academic and professional lives
  • Charting a Satisfying Career Path: Panel discussion in which alumni highlight the vast array of practice areas and personal career choices made by Fordham Law graduates, and offer practical tips and insights for identifying and securing career opportunities that align with students’ individual passions and interests
  • Professionalism in Practice: Interactive workshop in which students practice identifying and addressing common professionalism issues that may arise in the legal workplace, and learn the key rules of professional etiquette they will need to excel in practice
  • Financial Literacy for Law Students: Introductory overview to personal finance management and financial planning for law students and young lawyers, including discussion of budgeting, saving, debt management, credit scoring, insurance, and retirement-planning