Paula A. Franzese

Visiting Professor

American Government & Politics

Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law, Seton Hall Law School

Paula A. Franzese received her B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa (junior year), from Barnard College 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. She was a litigator with Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York City, where she also served as a member of the Housing Court Reform Project and the Governor's Task Force on Life and Law. She is a former law clerk to New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Alan B. Handler. She joined the Seton Hall Law School faculty in 1986, where she is Professor of Law, directs the Pro Bono Program, has taught at Fordham Law School and teaches at Barnard College. Professor Franzese has received the Seton Hall Law School Professor of the Year Award an unprecedented four times, has been named an Exemplary Teacher by the American Association of Higher Education and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the New Jersey Young Lawyer of the Year Award.

With an expertise in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, First Amendment Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Property and Commercial Law, Professor Franzese has published extensively, and is the co-author of Property Law and the Public Interest (Michie, 1998), author of Throw Your Fears Out the Window (Donnelly, 1997) and co-author of New Jersey Forms of Jury Instruction (Matthew Bender, 1993). She is featured as a Legends of the Law on Property (Harcourt Brace) and is commentator on Court TV. She is Commissioner of the Essex Human Rights Commission and serves on the American Arbitration Association, the National Affordable Housing Colloquium, the Federal Bar Council and the Columbia Law School Alumni Board of Directors, and has served as Chair of the Barnard College Alumnae Council.

Professor Franzese is President of the New York-based Justice Resource Center, and founded the New Jersey Mentor Program, a law-related education program for inner-city youth. In 1996 she was appointed by Governor Whitman to serve as Commissioner of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. She lectures throughout the country and leads several pro bono initiatives on behalf of children.

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., "Hopeful signs of good government in New Jersey," September 24, 2010

Current Experience and Activities:

  • Professor of Law, Seton Hall Law School, Newark, New Jersey, 1986-present. 
    Teaching Property and Commercial Law.
  • Founder and Director, New Jersey Mentor Program, 1987-present. 
    Mentor pairs inner-city high schools with law firms, public sector law offices and Seton Hall Law School in order to provide young people with access to role models within the legal profession as well as a desire and capability to participate effectively in our legal system.

Civil rights and civil liberties
First amendment law
Criminal law and procedure
Property and commercial law

Both courses are 25-student limited-enrollment lecture courses with a prerequisite of an introductory-level American politics course. The syllabi are on-line.

  • POLS BC 3254 First Amendment Values
  • POLS BC 3521 Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Medal of Honor, New Jersey State Bar Foundation, 2006
Professor of the Year, Seton Hall Law School, 1997, 1993, 1990, 1988
Fellowship, Leadership New Jersey, 1993
Outstanding Service Award, Rotary International, 1993
Young Lawyer of the Year, New Jersey Bar Association, 1992
Outstanding Achievement Award, Seton Hall Law School Peter W. Rodino, Jr. Law Society, 1991
Exemplary Teacher, the American Association of Higher Education, 1990
Outstanding Achievement Award, New Jersey State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 1990
Phi Beta Kappa, upon completion of junior year, 1979


Co-author, Property Law and the Public Interest (Michie, 1998)

Throw Your Fears Out the Window (Donnelly, 1997)

Co-author, New Jersey Forms of Jury Instruction (Multi-Volume Series, Matthew Bender, 1993)

The Community of Law Teachers and Scholars Expands: Guideposts for New Faculty, 22 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1375 (1992)

The Mentor Program: Building Bridges to the Community, 22 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1366 (1992)

Reclaiming Our Noble Profession, 22 Seton Hall L. Rev. 307 (1992)


Updated August 16, 2013 by Anne Wolff-Lawson.



At Barnard College
417-A Lehman Hall
Tel  212-854-8422
Fax 212-854-3024

At Seton Hall Law School


Fall 2015 Office Hours:

Tuesdays, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.



J.D. Columbia University School of Law, 1983

B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa (junior year), Barnard College, 1980

Seton Hall Law School



























In the News