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Three Fordham Law Alumni Among Honorees at Feerick Center Reception


The Feerick Center for Social Justice welcomed nearly 200 benefactors to its annual Awards and Benefit Reception on October 7, 2013, at the headquarters of Mutual of America in New York City.

James E. Tolan ’62

James E. Tolan ’62, Of Counsel at Dechert LLP and an active contributor to the Feerick Center since its launch in 2006, received the Spirit of Service Award. Tolan’s involvement with Fordham Law dates back over 50 years: he has served as President of the Fordham Law Alumni Association, Chairman of the Annual Fund, and head of the Board of Advisors for the Crowley Program in Human Rights. He has served in pro bono capacities for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, Wheelchair Classics Inc., and the National Theatre Workshop for the Disabled. He has been a major promoter of the Feerick Center’s Public Lecture Series and is currently involved as a member of the teaching faculty with the alternative dispute resolution program that the Center has established in Ghana.

Peggy Healy ’96

The recipient of this year’s Spirit of Hope Award, Peggy Healy ’96, has been a human rights advocate for nearly 40 years. As Senior Vice President for Latin America for Covenant House International, she oversees four programs for homeless and trafficked youth in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. She began her career in the 1970s in Nicaragua and Central America where she worked for almost a decade as a Maryknoll Sister and as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. A Stein Scholar during her time at Fordham, she had a federal clerkship in the Southern District of New York after graduating and then worked around the globe with several NGOs as a human rights advocate. Healy has been a member of the Board of Advisors for the Feerick Center since its founding.

Kevin Curnin ’95 with Professor Elizabeth Cooper

The recipient of the Champion of Justice Award was Kevin J. Curnin ’95, who is a founding member of the Board of Advisors of the Feerick Center. Curnin is a partner with years of experience handling commercial litigation matters and is the founding Director of the Public Service Project at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan. The firm now provides comprehensive and sophisticated legal assistance to a wide range of underserved communities in New York. Since Curnin began to develop and focus this area of the firm it has received over 60 awards for the contributions it has made to public service. With Curnin’s help, the Stroock firm has established itself as a leader in the nation in public service matters.

Seymour James with Feerick Center Advisory Board Chair Fern Schair

Seymour W. James Jr. received the Life of Commitment Award. James is the Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice of the Legal Aid Society in New York City, the largest public defender organization in the country and the primary indigent defender in the city. In this capacity, he is responsible for the Society’s criminal defense trial, parole revocation defense, appellate and post-conviction criminal practices. He is also the former President of the New York State Bar Association and serves on Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s Justice Task Force and the New York State Permanent Sentencing Commission. He has devoted his entire legal career to ensuring that the poor in New York City charged with criminal offenses receive high quality representation.


 Feerick Center Founder John D. Feerick ’61 with the four honorees

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