Ever since the inception of the recession, we have been embroiled in a conversation about legal education–its costs, value, and flaws. There has been much controversy, some informed and some uninformed about the need for reforms in legal education and ways forward. Amidst this debate, legal historian Robert Kaczorowski has written a brilliant and engrossing history of Fordham Law School, one that highlights, among many issues, the struggles that law schools have with their universities about the funds they generate. As Kaczorowski’s book “Fordham University School of Law: A History” highlights, universities see their law schools as cash cows, siphoning away their funding for the main university and taking away those funds from the law school. Legal reform amidst that continuing state of affairs is a fraught enterprise, indeed. Of the book, esteemed legal historian William Nelson (NYU) writes:
One of the best books ever written on American legal education. Besides documenting the history of Fordham Law, Kaczorowski makes three major contributions to the knowledge of legal education’s history. First, the book documents why large numbers of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century immigrants and their children needed the founding of a Catholic law school. Second, it documents the factors that produce greatness in a law school. Third, it traces a conflict over the funding of law school. No other work has addressed these issues in depth. Kaczorowski has done a remarkable job.