Fordham Law

Famed Civil Rights Attorney Receives Dean’s Medal of Achievement

October 21, 2009

Legendary human rights lawyer Jack Greenberg received the Fordham Law Dean’s Medal of Achievement at a reception at Fordham Law School.

Dean William Michael Treanor presented the medal to Greenberg at a reception attended by Fordham Law students, faculty, administrators, and alumni. Following the presentation, Mr. Greenberg joined Associate Dean Sheila Foster and Associate Professor Catherine Powell for a panel discussion that examined Mississippi Burning, the fourth movie in the Fordham Law Film Festival. The discussion was moderated by Thane Rosenbaum, director of the School’s Forum on Law, Culture & Society, which hosts the annual festival.

“The Dean's Medal of Achievement is the highest award given by Fordham Law,” said Dean Treanor. “No one is more deserving of this great honor than Jack Greenberg. His lifelong crusade for racial equality has contributed immeasurably to the cause of justice.”

Greenberg has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court over forty times in many historic civil rights cases, including Brown v. Board of Education, which declared “separate but equal” unconstitutional. He has also participated in numerous human rights missions to the former Soviet Union, Poland, South Africa, the Philippines, Korea, Nepal, and other countries. He has consulted on integrating Roma schoolchildren in public schools in Eastern Europe. For his humanitarian efforts and devotion to civil rights, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2001 and the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award in 1996.

Greenberg served as dean of Columbia College from 1989 to 1993, and he currently is the Alphonse Fletcher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. He is a founding member of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund and a board member of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Contact: Stephen Eichinger