NEW YORK – William M. Treanor, who served as U.S. deputy assistant attorney general from 1998 until 2001, has been named dean of the Fordham University School of Law effective August 1, 2002. “William Treanor represents a new generation of scholars and teachers at Fordham’s School of Law,” said the Rev. Joseph A. O’Hare, S.J., president of Fordham University. “Committed to the traditions of the School, he will be able to bring Fordham’s School of Law to the next stage of its development.”
Treanor, who joined the Fordham Law faculty in 1991, is a constitutional law scholar who has written extensively on protection of property rights. He has also been a familiar face in Washington, D.C., legal circles, working with a variety of government agencies since 1979. During the Reagan and Bush administrations, he worked as associate counsel in the Office of the Iran-Contra Independent Counsel, where he did trial and appellate work and advised the office on complex criminal law issues. More recently he served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) from 1998 to 2001, focusing on issues in criminal law, foreign affairs, international law, intellectual property and war powers.
In this post, after the Clinton impeachment proceedings, Treanor helped advise the Whitewater Independent Counsel whether the President, impeached by Congress but acquitted by the Senate, could subsequently be criminally prosecuted without violating the Bill of Right’s double jeopardy clause. “My experience at the OLC gave me practical insights into questions of intellectual property law, criminal law, national security law, and, more generally, constitutional law, which are sure to be of great significance in the years ahead,” he said. “More fundamentally, my experience in the government has given me an understanding of the concrete demands of legal practice and of the way in which law actually operates.”
Treanor’s academic writings have focused on the limits the Bill of Rights places on government regulation of property, and his work was cited this past term by Chief Justice William Rehnquist in his dissent in the United States Supreme Court case Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. He has also written on subjects such as the original understanding of the Constitutions’s war powers clause, the early history of judicial review, and the efficacy of the statute creating the Independent Counsel. He has taught a wide range of courses at Fordham, including Constitutional decision-making, criminal law, land use and property law.
He plans to continue teaching after becoming dean. “Fordham Law School is an extraordinary place – a great teaching institution, a school with a deep commitment to social justice, and, perhaps most unusually, a law school that prides itself on having an atmosphere in which students feel appreciated and valued,” said Treanor. “As dean, I hope to continue the school’s growth so that it will achieve the national prominence it deserves, and to do so while preserving our unique atmosphere.” Treanor received a B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University in 1979, and, in 1982, he received an A.M. in history from Harvard University.
He graduated from Yale Law School in 1985, where he was articles and book review editor of the Yale Law Journal. Treanor replaces John D. Feerick, who was dean of the law school for 20 years. Feerick plans to teach, write and continue his public interest work. Ranked 32nd nationally by U.S. News & World Report, 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.