Fordham Law School Launches Real Estate Degree

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ANGELA CHEN

The L.L.M. degree in real estate is the latest of nine other L.L.M. programs that Fordham Law School has to offer.

By GUS DUPREE, News Editor

Fordham School of Law will be the first law school in New York City and one of only six universities nationwide to offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in real estate. The 24-credit LL.M. course will take an academic year and is “intended for attorneys looking to deepen their understanding of real estate law or to open up new career opportunities in real estate,”  according to Fordham’s website. 

Nestor Davidson, faculty director of the Fordham Urban Law Center and Albert A. Walsh chair in Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law, believes that there are many upsides to having a real estate master’s program situated in New York City. 

“The fact that we are in the global capital of real estate makes a big difference. If you’re going to be learning about how the development process works in its most complex forms, how real estate intersects in global capital markets … you get a global perspective,” Davidson said.

Students who already have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree typically pursue an LL.M. in order to achieve greater knowledge in a particular subject in law, according to Davidson. Students pursuing Fordham’s LL.M. will take courses that emphasize real estate law, such as real estate finance, land use and affordable housing. The program will also offer courses for international students that give them an understanding of the U.S. legal system.

According to Davidson, many of the students who have expressed interest in the new program are international students. “Whether the mix is still mostly international or more students nationally, I’ll be curious to see how that unfolds,” Davidson stated.  

However, Davidson stressed that the real estate program’s curriculum isn’t limited just to the New York metropolitan area. “We’re not hoping to train only New York lawyers,” he said.

The LL.M. program in real estate is the latest LL.M. track that the university offers. In addition to real estate, Fordham School of Law currently offers nine other LL.M. courses in subjects, including international business, trade law, corporate compliance and fashion law.

The new LL.M. degree is not Fordham’s only real estate endeavor as of late. The School of Professional and Continuing Studies founded the Fordham University Real Estate Institute in 2016. The institute offers graduate certificates in subjects such as real estate finance and construction management, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in real estate. 

Davidson explained that Fordham’s recent interest in real estate reflects the university’s position in New York City, home to perhaps the most dynamic real estate market in the world. “The thing about real estate is that to be a good business leader, you need to understand the regulatory environment, financing, etc.,” Davidson explained. “You need to understand the market, the clients. The university sees that as important.” 

Applications for the LL.M. program are currently open, with class registration beginning on June 15.