Paula A. Franzese
American Government & Politics
Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law, Seton Hall Law School
Professor Paula Franzese is one of the country's leading experts in property law as well as government ethics. She has spearheaded ethics reform initiatives on behalf of three governors, serving as Special Ethics Counsel to Governor Richard J. Codey, Chair of the State Ethics Commission, Vice-Chair of the Election Law Enforcement Commission, Vice-Chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Special Committee on Attorney Ethics and Admissions and as ethics advisor to state and local governments across the country, including Mayor Cory Booker's administration in Newark. She received the National Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Award, the highest honor conferred by the organization, in recognition of her "significant, demonstrable and positive contributions to the fields of campaign finance, elections, ethics, freedom of information and lobbying over a significant period of time." Among her groundbreaking initiatives in those arenas, she and retired Justice Daniel J. O'Hern promulgated the Uniform Ethics Code, a pioneering statutory achievement and model for national replication. She has published extensively on the best practices for ethics reform of state and local governments.
The author of numerous publications, Prof. Franzese’s scholarship in the area of housing law includes critical examination of landlord tenant law, common interest communities, homeowners associations and the dilemma of privatization, the law of servitudes, exclusionary zoning, affordable housing, adverse possession doctrine and takings law. Her most recent empirical and scholarly study of the plight of poor tenants living in substandard housing has become the basis for significant reform efforts. She joined in the submission to the U.S. Supreme Court of an amicus brief in the Kelo case, and has written and presented on takings law reform.
Professor Franzese is the author of Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Property (Aspen), is a contributor to the books America's Second Gilded Age? Perspectives on Law and Class Differences (NYU Press), The Affective Assistance of Counsel: Practicing Law as a Healing Profession (Carolina Academic Press), and Reaction and Reform in New Jersey (Hall Institute). She co-authored Property Law and the Public Interest, which expansively explored the public interest dimensions of Property law. She serves on the editorial board of the Land Use and Environmental Law Review, a prestigious peer-reviewed scholarly journal.
Prof. Franzese was named a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, a highly coveted honor, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation as well as the recipient of numerous accolades, including the Sir Thomas More Medal of Honor, the YWCA Woman of Influence Award, the Women Lawyers Association Trailblazer Award, the State Bar Foundation's Medal of Honor and the Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal, the University's highest honor.
Nationally renowned for her excellence in teaching, a recent book names Professor Franzese one of only 26 "best law teachers in the United States." The book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press), profiles in detail the pedagogical approach that renders her a "dazzlingly effective model of rigor, hard work, creativity and humility." Professor Franzese is the unprecedented ten-time recipient of the Student Bar Association's Professor of the Year Award, has been named "Exemplary Teacher" by the American Association of Higher Education, was ranked the Top Law Professor in New Jersey by the New Jersey Law Journal and was named Faculty Teacher of the Year. She has demonstrated and deconstructed her pedagogical expertise on teaching as both art and science at workshops and colloquia across the country and served as Distinguished Teaching and Learning Professor at the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law. She is the Gilbert's "Legend of the Law" in Property (CD series, Lexis) and the national Property and Secured Transactions lecturer for the BAR/BRI bar review course. She is the past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Teaching Methods and served as Vice-Chair of the Legal Education Section of the American Bar Association.
Committed to education reform and civic engagement, Prof. Franzese serves on the Boards of Trustees of Mount St. Dominic Academy, St. Catherine of Siena School and the Community Health Law Project. She has pioneered the cause of law-related education and informed mentoring initiatives throughout the country as Past President of the Justice Resource Center. Her presentations on the importance of teachers have been showcased at teacher conferences, leadership academies, bench-bar symposia and school district convocations. She established the Leadership Fellows Program and teaches leadership, ethics and decision-making to middle-school, undergraduate and graduate students. She has been named one of twenty Inspiring Women in Education by sheknows media.
Professor Franzese was a litigator with Cahill, Gordon, where she also served as a member of the New York Housing Court Reform Project and the Governor's Task Force on Life and Law. She clerked for Justice Alan B. Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Barnard College, where she was awarded the Bryson Prize, Alpha Zeta Fellowship, Marion Churchill White Prize, Davidson-Foreman Foundation Award and Barnard Alumnae Fellowship, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where she was an International Fellow, Teaching Fellow and recipient of the prestigious Rosenman Prize for excellence in public law courses.
In the News:
Paula Franzese named one of the top 26 law teachers in the United States in the newly published What the Best Law Teachers Do.
NJ.com, "Hopeful signs of good government in New Jersey," September 24, 2010
Civil rights and civil liberties
First amendment law
Criminal law and procedure
Property and commercial law
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