J.D. Student Scholar Designations

At the end of each academic year, Fordham Law releases approximate class standings for returning J.D. students. Fordham Law has established scholar designations associated with the following approximate class standings:

MARY DALY SCHOLARS: Approximate Top 10%


PAUL FULLER SCHOLARS: Approximate Top 33%

These scholar designations recognize not only student academic achievement but also the contributions made by three remarkable and distinguished members of the Fordham Law community to the advancement of the legal profession and the Law School.

Below is a brief description of these remarkable members of the Fordham Law community:


A pathbreaking leader in the field of ethics and an outstanding law professor who received the Teacher of the Year Award in 2004

Mary Daly contributed to the community in countless ways, including service as James H. Quinn Professor of Law and director of the Graduate Program. She also was co-director of the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics, which she helped turn into a model for other law schools by, among other initiatives, pioneering the contextual teaching of ethics and working to expand dramatically the Law School’s legal ethics faculty. In accomplishing this she became a pioneer in international ethics and the transnational practice of law. She served as dean of St. John’s Law School from 2004 until her death in 2008.


A woman of many firsts.

Of particular note, Ruth Whitehead Whaley was the first African-American woman to graduate from Fordham Law, doing so at the top of her class. Subsequently she was the first African-American woman to practice law in New York and later became the first African-American woman to pass the bar in North Carolina. These feats were accomplished at a time of extraordinary obstacles for both women and African Americans. She was certified to argue before the Supreme Court and argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals many times during her remarkable legal career. She became a recognized expert in civil service law and won several landmark cases in that area.


Fordham Law’s first dean.

Paul Fuller’s remarkable journey began as an orphan traveling alone across the country from California to New York. After surviving without a home on the streets of New York, he was adopted by a language professor and given a chance at an education. Eventually he became a senior partner at Coudert Brothers and an expert on Latin American law. He also served as an emissary of President Wilson to Mexico. Having lived through isolation and poverty, he understood that a strong legal education could open doors for other hardworking individuals, just as it had for him. Today, the Law School honors his legacy by carrying out his mission of offering students from all economic backgrounds a complete legal education.