Fordham University School of Law Dean John D. Feerick will step down as dean on June 30, 2002, he announced today. Feerick has served as dean of Fordham Law School since July 1, 1982, making him the longest serving law dean in New York State. “I will miss this honorable position very much,” said Feerick, “but it has always seemed to me that I should pass the baton when the School was strong and the challenges ahead were exciting.” Ranked 32 nationally by U.S. News & World Report, Fordham Law School has enjoyed significant advances in the areas of diversification of the student body, curriculum development and national reputation.
Under Dean Feerick’s leadership, Fordham Law School has also been ranked in the top five percent nationally – number eight in the country – for the most diverse student population, with the entering class of 2001 boasting a median LSAT score of 164. He has lobbied large corporate firms to hire more minority law graduates so that the industry better reflects the diversity of American society. His dedication to the Jesuit philosophy of service to others has lead to the School’s establishment of nationally recognized programs in legal ethics, public interest law, clinical legal education and international human rights, including the establishment of a conflict resolution program that brought together leaders from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“On behalf of the entire University, I thank Dean Feerick for his extraordinary service to the Law School and the University. I am confident that John will continue to make important contributions to the School and the University as a distinguished member of our Law Faculty, a position that will also allow him to pursue long-delayed personal and professional interests,” said University President Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J. A graduate of Fordham College, class of 1958, and Fordham Law School, class of 1961, Feerick practiced law from 1961 to 1982 at the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, developing its labor and employment law practice as a partner in the firm from 1968 to 1982. During his tenure as dean at Fordham Law School, Feerick has held a number of public positions, having served as a member of the New York State Law Revision Commission; as a representative to the New York City Office of Collective Bargaining; as chairman from 1987 to 1990 of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity; as a special New York State Attorney General; and as president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the first sitting Law School dean to have held the position.
In 1964, Feerick served on a task force to help develop the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, for which he received special recognition from the American Bar Association. He was a draftsman of the proposed constitutional amendment on electoral college reform that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1969. Widely respected for his mediation and arbitration skills, Feerick worked to adjudicate labor disputes at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the 1994 transit negotiations in New York, the NFL salary cap and recently in the NBA. The father of six children and grandfather of eight, John Feerick has received numerous awards for his work and dedication to the profession of law and to the advancement of human rights, including the Ellis Island Medal of Achievement, the Gold Medal of the New York State Bar Association, the Whitney North Seymour Public Service Award of the Federal Bar Council, and the Law and Society Award of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. He is the author of scores of articles and several books, including The Twenty-Fifth Amendment, published in 1976, which received a Pulitzer Prize nomination. Fordham University School of Law was founded in 1905, and has more than 14,000 alumni practicing in all 50 states and throughout the world.