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Abstract

In 2012 our colleague Robert J. Kaczorowski published Fordham University School of Law: A History. As we read Bob’s book, discussed it, and thought about it, we realized emphatically that it not only synthesized the history of Fordham Law School in a superbly illuminating way, but that it is one of the best books to date on the history of twentieth-century legal education in America. It compellingly tells the story of American legal education through the lens of an urban law school founded to expand access to the legal profession for groups that had been shut out of the pathways to power that legal education provides. The initial focus on Catholics and immigrants quickly expanded to include African Americans, women, and others. It became obvious that we needed to do more to bring Professor Kaczorowski’s book to the attention both of scholars who are interested in studying legal education and of administrators who must guide it. Accordingly, with the assistance of Professor William Nelson of New York University School of Law, we organized a conference on the history of legal education in twentieth-century America around the topics discussed in Bob’s book. The conference was held on July 2–4, 2018, at the New York University conference center in Florence, Italy. The goal in organizing the conference was to bring together scholars who are writing about the history of legal education and the legal profession, along with individuals who played important parts in making that history happen.

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