Longtime Fordham supporter Jim Leitner (LAW ‘82) pledged $2 million to the Joseph R. Crowley Program in International Human Rights to fund the creation of an International Human Rights Chair. This is the second largest non-bequeathed gift that Fordham Law School has ever received.
Leitner made the donation to commemorate the Law School’s upcoming centennial celebration later this year and to encourage other alumni to help lay the groundwork for Fordham Law’s second hundred years.
“I am delighted that there will be a chair associated with a program that is so central to the mission of Fordham Law School and that has played such a vital leadership role in the international human rights community,” said William M. Treanor, J.D., dean of Fordham Law School. “Jim’s remarkably generous gift will create a strong financial basis for that great program and provide it with important and well-deserved recognition in the worlds of academia and human rights.”
Martin Flaherty, J.D., co-director of the Crowley Program, said that the donation will allow the program to expand participation in its annual international mission and strengthen the administration of the program’s extensive lecture series on international human rights issues.
“A donation of this magnitude, which rivals that of other premier legal academic institutions in the United States, will help the Crowley Program reach its fullest potential as a voice against human rights abuse around the world,” said Flaherty.
Unique among law school human rights centers, the Crowley Program organizes an annual international mission to investigate specific human rights issues. Upon the delegation’s return, the participants publish a comprehensive report setting out findings and recommendations. Missions to date have included investigations in Turkey, Hong Kong, Mexico, Guatemala, Ghana, Malaysia, Bolivia and Kenya.
In addition, the Crowley Program sponsors lectures by leading human rights advocates and places students with human rights organizations throughout the world. Flaherty and Fordham Law Professor Tracy Higgins, J.D., founded the Crowley Program in 1997. Next year, Catherine Powell, J.D., associate professor of law, will join them as a co-director of the program.
The Crowley Program is just one component of Fordham Law School’s dynamic and comprehensive international law program. Fordham Law ranked 18th in the 2005 U.S. News & World Report national survey of international law programs and its international law faculty has published major articles in the Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, Fordham Law Review and Fordham International Law Review. This past year, the Hon. Richard J. Goldstone, former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and former chief prosecutor for the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, served as the William Hughes Mulligan Chair in International Legal Studies.
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