Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York  
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Joseph Porrovecchio

Joseph Porrovecchio, Class of 1996

Joseph Porrovecchio '96 Joseph Porrovecchio was born in the Bronx and lived most of his life in Rockland County, NY. He has fond childhood memories of visiting his grandfather’s garage across from Fordham, where Fordham Plaza now stands, and taking trips to the Bronx Zoo and Ann & Tony’s on Arthur Avenue.  Upon graduating from Fordham College in 1996 (American Studies), he received a commission as an officer in the Marine Corps through the NROTC program at SUNY Maritime.  After serving four years as a Ground Intelligence Officer in the Marine Corps, he returned Fordham to attend law school and graduated in 2003.  He is now an associate at the law firm of Lankler & Carragher, LLP located in New York, NY, where he focuses on commercial litigation and insurance investigations, coverage and subrogation matters.  The firm’s core practice areas include white collar and corporate criminal defense, securities litigation and regulatory compliance.

Q & A

1) What drew you to the American Studies program at Fordham?

 When I was invited by Fr. Massa to participate after my Freshman year, I was intrigued by the multidisciplinary approach of the program, culminating with an opportunity to engage in an original research and writing project.  I was also attracted to the selectivity of the program, which affords students the opportunity to learn from each other in a more intimate and intellectually stimulating environment.

2) What wERE some of your favorite experiences in American Studies at Fordham?

The senior seminar was the most challenging and rewarding aspect of the program.  We had two professors, Fr. Massa and Fr. Grimes, who led extremely engaging discussions which required us to critically analyze issues and draw out “original thought.”  The opportunity to exercise those skills was the true benefit of the program.

3) What did you write your thesis on? How did you get interested in that topic?

I wrote to investigate the degree to which Union General William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea” during the Civil War fit a “total war” paradigm (which is typically characterized, in part, by an absence of rules or restraint in the conception and execution of military campaigns).  As an NROTC Midshipman and student of military history, I considered it important that, when looking back on successful military campaigns to guide our conduct of operations today, we  need to be clear on what it is we are being taught.

4) How did American studies prepare you for your career in Law?

Quite simply, I first learned the mechanics of critical analysis, which I use now on a daily basis, in the American Studies Program.  Moreover, the program’s interdisciplinary approach is a great exercise for learning how to evaluate a problem from multiple angles, so as to consider the perspective, context and agenda of sources of information. 

5) Do you have any advice for current American Studies students?

Find what you enjoy doing and do it well.  If you are happy in your career and your name is associated with quality work, you will be successful in whatever line of work you choose.  I guarantee it.

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