Fordham Law


John D. Feerick to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Law Journal

September 16, 2013

Former Fordham Law Dean John D. Feerick ’61, the son of Irish immigrants, has been selected by the New York Law Journal to receive the publication’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The NYLJ Lifetime Achievement Award honors legal professionals who “have made a profound impact on the law and New York’s legal community.” 

Professor Feerick was Dean of Fordham Law for 20 years from 1982–2002. He is the founder and senior counsel of the School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice. Feerick earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Fordham and was awarded an honorary LL.D. from the Law School in 2002. A pillar of Fordham’s social justice community, Feerick has spent his career engaged in pro-bono work, campaigning for human rights, and mentoring students who are interested in public interest law.

Feerick will be featured in the Law Journal’s 125-year anniversary issue to be published on October 30 and celebrated at a dinner to be held on November 4.
In addition to Feerick, the following two individuals with ties to Fordham Law will join the group of 16 who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award this year:

George Bundy Smith, a retired New York state judge, has been an adjunct professor at Fordham Law for over 25 years. In 1992, Smith was the third African American to be appointed to the New York Court of Appeals. He was renowned for his work during his 14-year term on the court and has since continued to teach and to advocate for diversity in the legal community. Smith is the namesake of Fordham Law’s Honorable George Bundy Smith Scholarship, established in 2006, which is awarded to students demonstrating financial need, “with preference given to students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession.”

Sheila Birnbaum was one of the first female professors at Fordham Law, where she taught from 1972–1978. Today, Birnbaum is one of the world’s most respected attorneys in the field of product liability. In 2013 the National Law Journal selected her as one of the 100 most outstanding members of the legal profession. Birnbaum practices law with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

Smith and Birnbaum also serve on the Feerick Center’s Board of Advisors.