Fordham University School of Law - Assistant Dean for Public Interest and Social Justice Initiatives

17 Mar 2020 5:53 PM | Michael Murphy (Administrator)

FORDHAM UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW is conducting a search to hire an Assistant Dean for Public Interest and Social Justice Initiatives.


The Assistant Dean for Public Interest and Social Justice Initiatives advances public interest, pro bono engagement, and social justice initiatives at Fordham Law School (FLS), a law school with over 1400 students.  Reporting to the Dean of the Law School, the Assistant Dean for Public Interest and Social Justice Initiatives is a key member of the FLS senior management team, and the central point of contact for students and alumni regarding public interest endeavors. The Assistant Dean is responsible for creating and sustaining a dynamic culture of public service and a wide array of public interest programs at the law school in close collaboration with FLS students, alumni, faculty, centers and institutes, and administrative departments. The Assistant Dean encourages student commitment to social justice work and builds and sustains pathways to public interest and public sector employment and pro bono work for graduates.  The Assistant Dean is deeply engaged with public interest, public sector, pro bono and social justice communities both in New York and nationally, ensuring that Fordham is an active participant in the public interest realm beyond the walls of the law school.  The Assistant Dean is also a principal FLS representative to relevant professional associations and other organizations.


The Assistant Dean provides overall vision and strategy for public interest and social justice programming at the law school across a diverse set of students, alumni, staff, and faculty stakeholders to actualize FLS’s motto “in the service of others.”  The Assistant Dean leads FLS’s Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC), a critical hub of student-centered public interest activities.  The Assistant Dean also engages external public interest networks and provides insight into developing public interest and public sector trends. To fulfil this role, the Assistant Dean will work collaboratively with the PIRC team and other colleagues and have major responsibilities in:


-        Promotes law student participation in pro bono and community service work through PIRC’s 27 student-directed projects, FLS’s 17 centers and institutes, faculty pro bono projects and initiatives, and other collaborations inside and outside of FLS.

-        Oversees the Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law, one of the oldest public interest scholars programs in the country.

-        Coordinates public interest programming among FLS’s centers and institutes and the broader FLS community.

-        Directs and builds on FLS’s extensive and vibrant public interest alumni network, including to support student and alumni public interest placements. 

-        Manages PIRC’s extensive annual public interest career programming in coordination with FLS’s Career Planning Center (CPC).

-        Represents FLS on public interest and public service related efforts with local, state, and national professional organizations. 

Student and Alumni Counseling

-        Develops and implements a strategic vision to inspire and prepare FLS students and graduates for careers in the broad array of public interest law--ranging from careers with nonprofit organizations, government, and public interest law firms to pro bono service.

-        Coordinates with FLS’s CPC to counsel students and alumni on charting their public interest paths, advising on related coursework, internships and externships, post-graduate fellowships and jobs.

-        Implements FLS’s programs for funding student summer and post graduate fellowships and collaborates with the Office of Institutional Advancement to expand funding opportunities for students and graduates.


-        Collaborates with FLS’s Communications and Media Relations Department, to publicize and promote student and alumni public interest work.


-        Supervises 3 full-time employees as well as student workers.

-        Develops and maintains the systems for all aspects of the operations of PIRC and the Stein Scholars Program.

-        Collaborates closely with FLS’s other administrative departments and with FLS’s academic centers and institutes.

-        Manages and oversees budgets.


●       Demonstrated commitment to working with law students, particularly in connection to public service, access to justice, and social justice initiatives.

●       Deep knowledge of and connections to the public interest legal community, preferably nationally as well as in the NYC metro area.

●       Record of accomplishment in student public service/pro bono program development or closely related role.

●       Evidence of thoughtful, collaborative, creative, and strategic leadership.

●       Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills.

●       Strong program design, development, strategic planning, and management skills.

●       Advanced degree required with Juris Doctor preferred.

●       At least seven years of relevant experience, such as working in a law school and/or with a non-profit or government organization, required. Candidates with ten and more years of relevant experience are strongly preferred.

SALARY:  Commensurate with experience.


STARTING DATE:  Summer 2020

Send Cover Letter and Resume, and optional Diversity Statement, in SINGLE PDF FILE to: 

Subject Line:  LAST NAME, FIRST NAME – Assistant Dean Search

To the attention of Gemma Solimene, Chair, Search Committee


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in early to mid-March.  Early applications are strongly encouraged. 


Fordham University is committed to excellence through diversity and welcomes candidates of all backgrounds.

Fordham is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Veterans/Disabled and other protected categories.


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