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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 student's professional growth beginning on day one and ensure that key professionalism lessons reach every student.

August and January Orientation

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
  • Wellness 101: 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
  • Developing Your Professional Persona: Interactive student-led 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, growth mindset, and supporting others

The 1L January Orientation 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:

  • Untangling Fear in Law School: Presentation focused on helping students understand they are not defined by their setbacks (including disappointing 1L grades), and highlighting (1) the various ways that fear shows up in law school and practice; (2) the negative consequences this fear can have on their professional development and well-being; and (3) concrete strategies for overcoming fear and building a culture of fortitude in law school
  • Starting the Semester Strong: Small-group, student-led workshop focused on (1) cultivating a growth mindset; (2) values alignment and bringing your authentic self to law school; (3) self-care; and (4) goal setting
  • Alumni Growth Mindset Panel: Panel and breakout discussions highlighting the experiences and advice of alumni who have overcome setbacks and obstacles and gone on to enjoy satisfying, successful careers

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:

  • Feedback Panel: Student-led panel discussion on strategies for soliciting and responding to feedback during 1L and understanding feedback as an opportunity for growth
  • DEI Workshop - Time for Conscious Action: Interactive workshop focused on helping students understand the importance of cultural competence for lawyers and explore ways to promote equity and inclusion
  • Career Paths: Program that introduces students to the vast array of practice areas and settings available to law graduates, and provides tips and guidance about how to learn more about their areas of interest and expertise and forge authentic career paths that align with their unique skills, values, and interests