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Fordham Law Names Vice Dean

Law Professor Honored by Bar Association

This Month in Fordham History…
Two Years After its Founding, Fordham Welcomes the Jesuits

Fordham Law Names Vice Dean

Sheila Foster is an expert on environmental justice and urban land use law.

Photo courtesy of Fordham Law
Sheila Foster has been appointed vice dean of the Fordham School of Law.

“Without question, Sheila is an outstanding scholar-professor and an extraordinarily gifted administrator, and this appointment is a fitting recognition of her contributions to our school,” said Michael M. Martin, dean of Fordham Law.

“Since assuming the mantle of academic affairs, Sheila has provided principled and effective leadership that has strengthened our curriculum and our centers, institutes and programs. She also is a fierce advocate for our faculty and students, as well as a champion for our alumni.”

Foster joined Fordham Law in 2002 after visiting the prior year from her post on the tenured faculty at Rutgers Law. A graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Berkeley Law at the University of California, and a former associate at Morrison & Foerster, she is an expert on the intersection of land use and environmental law, particularly in urban settings.

Her authoritative work on environmental justice and urban land use led to her appointment as the inaugural holder of the Albert A. Walsh ’54 Chair in Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law in 2005. She also serves as a co-director of the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics and has served as faculty moderator of the Fordham Urban Law Journal. In 2008, she was appointed associate dean for academic affairs.

Foster is the author of numerous publications on land use, environmental law and antidiscrimination law. She is the co-author, with Luke Cole, of From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement (N.Y.U. Press, 2001) and co-editor, with Michael Gerrard, of the second edition of The Law of Environmental Justice (ABA, 2009). She has consulted with many community-based groups in New Jersey and New York on environmental justice issues. She has also received two Ford Foundation grants for projects related to her work on environmental justice and urban development.


Law Professor Honored by Bar Association

John Feerick founded the Feerick Center for Social Justice, which he directs.

Photo by Patrick Verel
John Feerick, FCRH ’58, LAW ’61, professor and former dean of the Fordham School of Law, has been named the 2011 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Robert J. Kutak Award.

The Kutak Award is given annually to honor someone who has made significant contributions to the collaboration of the academy, the bench and the bar.

The association chose Feerick for his lifelong service to the bar, the judiciary and legal education. During his distinguished career, he served as:

• an adviser to the ABA’s Commission on Electoral College Reform;

• a member of the ABA’s Special Constitutional Convention Committee; and

• president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a rare assignment for an academic.

Feerick said the award was meaningful for him because when he became dean of Fordham Law in 1982, he worked a great deal with the ABA to resolve issues involving the accreditation review process.

“The fact that this award is being given to a Fordham Law professor means that the school is held in very high esteem nationally as it moves along in the 21st century,” he said.

Feerick is perhaps best known for his service as a member of the ABA Conference on Presidential Inability and Succession in 1964, which led to his participation in the drafting of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

He also served the New York City Bar as a member or chair of several committees—including the Special Committee on the New York Constitutional Convention of 1967—and was the founding chair of the New York County Lawyers’ Association Justice Center.

Upon stepping down as dean in 2002, he founded the Feerick Center for Social Justice, which he directs. He was the Leonard F. Manning Professor of Law from 2002 to 2004, and has held the Sidney C. Norris Chair of Law in Public Service since 2004.

“John is one of Fordham Law’s great treasures,” said Michael M. Martin, dean of the law school. “In every one of his many distinguished roles throughout his career—as a lawyer, arbitrator, professor, dean, director, mentor—he has practiced law in the service of others. The entire Fordham Law community is grateful for all of his contributions to the law school, and we are proud that the ABA has decided to honor his many achievements with the Kutak Award.”

The Kutak Award is named for a founding partner of the national law firm of Kutak Rock LLP who dedicated his career to public service and the improvement of legal education and the legal profession.

Feerick received the award on Aug. 5 at a reception in Toronto.

—Patrick Verel


This Month in Fordham History…

Two Years After its Founding, Fordham Welcomes the Jesuits

Bishop John Hughes with his “Dagger John” signature

In 1846 the first complement of Jesuits came to Fordham, with the first two arriving in April and the final six arriving on Aug. 9. The 28 Jesuits left behind a mission in Kentucky that was beset with various difficulties, including a remote location that was sometimes hard to reach.

In taking over the fledgling school at Rose Hill Manor, still known as St. John’s College, they answered the ardent hopes of Bishop John Hughes, who had been trying to place the school in Jesuit hands since before he founded it in 1841. The new location appealed to the Jesuits because, among other reasons, it was close to the abundant opportunities for apostolic work in Manhattan.

The number of Jesuits at Fordham would grow in the coming months as others arrived from around the Northeast and Canada.

—Chris Gosier


In the June 6 issue of Inside Fordham, This Month in Fordham History incorrectly stated the opening date of St. John’s College, which coincided with Bishop John Hughes’ 44th birthday. The correct date is June 24, 1841.




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