OFF THE RECORD - Seton Hall Law

Law Students Develop Leadership Skills While Giving Back to Community

Posted by Paula Franzese on 11/9/17 8:09 AM

Photo: Leadership Fellows Max Mescall, Mary Bessemer, Joanita Gakami, Nick Carlson and Cornelia Szymanski

The Leadership Fellows Program at Seton Hall Law provides a unique opportunity for law students to cultivate essential leadership skills through a series of interactive activities, reflections, and ultimately, through the planning and execution of a leadership project. Here is how Leadership Fellows Mary Bessemer ('18) and Cornelia Szymanski ('18) described their experiences in the program: 

"By utilizing the legal and interpersonal skill sets that each member of the class develops, we as Fellows are able to effectuate change within our communities and within ourselves."

"Our project, titled “Angel Kits Campaign” consisted of a two-fold approach.  Teaming up with Newark’s St. Stephen’s Church, we developed a program to cultivate proximity to the homeless and displaced living hand to mouth on the streets of Newark. To do that, we first built Angel Kits – packages of essential toiletries, clothing, meal cards and resource listings. Then, with Church leaders and parishioners, we ventured into the community to distribute the kits, talk with the people without a place to call home, and direct them to agencies and people able to help. In the process, we came to learn the most basic human need of all – the need to feel that we matter."


"The in-class component of the Program – the Leadership, Ethics and Decision-Making course - enabled us to develop our leadership skills and enhance our abilities to communicate, organize, influence, and build resilience. We were given the priceless opportunity to listen to distinguished luminaries speak to the power of hard work, integrity, grit and drive.  This was great motivation to continue to work hard at our educations and to take every opportunity we are given.  Each guest speaker gave us his or her contact information and was more than willing to meet with us individually and in small groups. Listening to these guest speakers was not only extremely motivating, but was an experience from law school we will never forget."   

"We are forever indebted to the Leadership Fellows Program for instilling in us the virtues of humility and perseverance, as well as for the opportunities that the Program afforded us.  Under the guidance and influence of Professor Franzese and our mentors, the program even exceeded our high expectations and touched our lives in many profound and lasting ways." 

To learn more about the program and how to get involved follow the link below.  

Leadership Fellows Program

Topics: Classes and Courses, Student Life, Experiential Learning

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