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About Us

The Law School established the Feerick Center in September 2006 as a lasting legacy of the school's Centennial Celebration. The Center’s establishment reflects the Law School’s long tradition of and commitment to legal education in the service of others and builds on Professor John D. Feerick’s contributions as Dean of the Law School (1982-2002) and currently as the Sidney C. Norris Professor of Law.

Advisory Board

Fern Schair serves as the chair of the Center’s advisory board. The advisory board helps guide program development at the Center. Advisory board members include the following individuals:

  • Jojo Annobil – Executive Director, Immigrant Justice Corps
  • Jennifer Jones Austin – Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
  • Honorable Denny Chin – United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Jennifer Ching – Executive Director, North Star Fund
  • Kevin J. Curnin – Founding Director of Public Service Project, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
  • Bruce A. Green (Ex Officio) – Louis Stein Professor of Law, Fordham Law School; Director, Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics, Fordham Law School
  • Peggy A. Healy – Senior Vice President, Covenant House
  • Gail Hollister – Murray Professor of Law, Emerita, Fordham Law School
  • Seymour James – Partner, Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP
  • Constantine N. Katsoris – Wilkinson Professor of Law, Fordham Law School 
  • Mary Ellen Kris – Consultant, United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries
  • Maura Kathleen Monaghan – Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
  • Jacqueline Nolan-Haley (Ex Officio) – Professor of Law, Fordham Law School; Director, Fordham ADR & Conflict Resolution Program
  • Carlos G. Ortiz – General Counsel, Goya Foods, Inc.
  • Marisa M. Peterson – Former General Counsel, American Arbitration Association; Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School
  • Timothy G. Reynolds – Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Robert C. Sheehan – Pro Bono Partner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Michael K. Stanton Jr. – Partner, Ferguson Cohen LLP
  • Herbert Sturz – Trustee, The Open Society Institute; Founding Chair, Expand ED Schools
  • Irene A. Sullivan – Retired Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Susan E. Welber – Staff Attorney, The Legal Aid Society

 

Faculty

John D. Feerick

Fordham Law Professor John Feerick

John D. Feerick, the Founder and Senior Counsel of the Feerick Center for Social Justice, was the Dean of Fordham Law School from 1982-2002. He has held the Sidney C. Norris Chair of Law in Public Service since 2004 and was the Leonard F. Manning Professor of Law from 2002-2004. John began his career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; he spent 21 years (1961-1982) there, developing and heading up their labor department.

John has been a dedicated public servant throughout his career. Most recently, he has served as a member of the three-person Special Master Panel in the McCain homeless family rights litigation (2003-2005); was appointed to a three-member Referee Panel in Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York (concerning education equity; 2003); and was the Chair of the Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections (2003). From April 2007 to February 2009, John served as Chair of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity. He is the co-chair of Chief Judge Advisory Council in the Attorney Emeritus Program. Previously, John was the President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (1992-1994); Chair of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity (1987-1990); and President of the Citizens Union Foundation (1987-1999).

Fordham Law Professor Elizabeth Cooper

Elizabeth B. Cooper

Elizabeth B. Cooper, the Faculty Director of the Feerick Center, joined the Fordham faculty in 1995. Liz teaches primarily in the Law School's clinical program (the Litigation Skills clinic, the Civil Rights Clinic, the Center’s Social Justice Clinic, and currently, the Urban Policy Clinic); she also has taught courses in Fundamental Lawyering Skills, Institutional Reform Through the Courts (with Professor Feerick), and AIDS and the Law. Her scholarship has focused on issues of autonomy, particularly in the context of bioethics, HIV/AIDS, Marriage rights, Equality and the pedagogy of clinical teaching.

Before coming to Fordham, Liz taught at Brooklyn Law School for one year and at Rutgers-Newark Law School as an adjunct law professor. She was a Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at the Newark, NJ law firm of Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione (1992-1994) and was a Skadden Fellow/Staff Counsel at the ACLU AIDS Project (1990-1992). Following graduation from New York University School of Law (1988), where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar, she clerked for the Hon. Anne E. Thompson, Senior Judge, U.S. District Court of New Jersey. She is a 1983 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Staff

Fordham Law Feerick Center Director Dora Galacatos

  

Dora Galacatos

Dora Galacatos, the Executive Director to the Feerick Center, is a Fordham Law alumna (1996), with experience working in city government, the not-for-profit sector, and legal services for low-income individuals. Prior to coming to Law School, Dora worked for the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice and the New York City for Mayor's Office of Drug Abuse Policy from 1989 to 1993, where she focused on program development, program evaluation, and policy analysis. As part of a Skadden Fellowship (1997-98), Dora helped establish a family day care network at Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, in Washington Heights, Manhattan.

Dora had served as Staff Director to the New York City Family Homelessness Special Master Panel, working alongside John Feerick. Dora also served as a law clerk to the late-Honorable Milton Pollack (1996-97) and, more recently, to the Honorable Paul A. Crotty (2005-2006), both District Judges in the Southern District of New York. Dora is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History (1987), and the New School for Social Research, where she was a Kaplan M. Fellow and received a Master of Science in Urban Policy (1993).

In 2009 Dora was honored by The New York County Lawyer's Association with their Public Service Award. In 2011, Manhattan Legal Services awarded her its Medal of Honor. In 2013, MFY Legal Services, Inc. recognized Dora with its Partner in Justice Award. Dora is a former chair of the New York City Bar Civil Court Committee.

Email: galacatos@fordham.edu Tel. 212-636-7747.

Karuna Patel

  

Karuna Patel

Karuna Patel is the Deputy Director of the Feerick Center.  Karuna began her legal career at Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services, Inc.), a legal services organization where she started the Consumer Rights Project.  She has worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs leading a division focused on enforcing the City’s consumer protection laws and on educating consumers, and at the Center for Responsible Lending, where she represented consumers in all aspects of predatory lending impact litigation.  Before joining the Law School, Karuna spent over five years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) working on a range of issues including mandatory arbitration in consumer contracts and consumer protections for remittances.

Karuna is a Queens native and received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Columbia University and her law degree from New York University School of Law.  Karuna clerked for the Honorable John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the Honorable Theodore McKee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Email: kpatel83@fordham.edu. Tel. 212-636-6988

Feerick Center Ffern Sschair 240x240

  

Fern Schair


Fern Schair has been Chairperson of the Feerick Center Advisory Board since its inception. Her professional positions include: Senior Vice President of the American Arbitration Association, Chief Administrative Officer of the New York City Bar Association, Program Development Officer for Civil Justice Programs at the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), and Director of Civil Justice Programs at the Fund for the City of New York. Her current civic positions include member of the Board, Immediate Past President, and Co-Founder of the Children’s Law Center; former Chair and current Board member of the Fund for Modern Courts; Vice-Chair of the Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts (NY); Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee on Court Interpreters; former Board Chair and current Emeritus Board member of Legal Services-NYC; Co-Chair of the Chief Judge’s Advisory Council on the Attorney Emeritus Program; Co-Chair of the Committee on Non-lawyers and the Justice Gap; and member of the Committee on Character and Fitness for the First Judicial Department. Ms. Schair attended Cornell University and graduated from St John’s School of Law.

Email: schair@law.fordham.edu Tel. 212-636-7746.

Feerick Center Clementine Schillings 240x240

  

Clementine Schillings

Clementine Schillings, the Assistant to Dean Feerick, has a background in Human Rights Law and International law having completed a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of the West of England, Bristol and a Master’s Degree at Queen Mary University of London. Since graduating she has interned at various institutions, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime working in their New York office, Eurojust (the European Agency on Judicial Cooperation), and VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (The Dutch Refugee Council).  Email: cschillings@fordham.edu Tel. 646-346-5169

Wilma

  

Wilma Tamayo-Abreu

 Administrative and Programmatic Assistant for the Feerick Center.

Wilma Tamayo-Abreu. On June 30, 2015, the Bronx News recognized Wilma Tamayo-Abreu with its 25 Women of Influence Award. Wilma was recognized, in part, for her contributions in connection with the Bronx CLARO Program, one of the three limited legal advice clinics for people dealing with consumer debt that the Feerick Center helps to administer. Since its inception in June 2009, Wilma has been instrumental in developing the Program into the powerhouse that it is today. Prior to joining the Feerick Center she served as a Corporate Event Coordinator at the IBM Conference Center in Palisades, NY and as a Branch Business Manager at Banco Popular. Wilma was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to NYC with her family when she was a teenager. After receiving her high school Diploma from Dewitt Clinton HS in 1997 she moved to Vermont to attend Middlebury College. Wilma is an advocate for immigrants’ rights and access to higher education for immigrants.

Email: wtamayoabreu@law.fordham.edu Tel. 212-636-7671.

Fellows

Ellen McCormick is a 2019-2020 Dean’s Fellow with the Feerick Center for Social Justice. Ellen is a recent graduate of Fordham University School of Law and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Colorado College. During law school, she interned with Queens Legal Services in their Homeowner and Consumer Rights Project, Mobilization for Justice in their Mental Health Law Project, and in Fordham Law’s Legislative and Policy Advocacy Clinic. She also served as a student volunteer in the Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO) Program, assisting volunteer attorneys in providing limited legal advice to pro se litigants in consumer debt proceedings in Manhattan and Bronx Civil Courts; the Dilley Pro Bono Project, providing limited-scope legal representation to asylum-seeking families detained in the South Texas Family Residential Center, in Dilley, Texas; and Fordham Law’s chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), assisting asylum-seekers in their resettlement processes and serving as chapter Case Manager. In 2019, she received Fordham Law’s Archibald R. Murray Public Service Award, summa cum laude, and the Student Leadership Award. She looks forward to serving as the 2019-2020 Dean’s Fellow where she will work to support the Center’s social justice initiatives and increase access to justice for some of New York’s most vulnerable communities.

2019-2020

Ellen McCormick, Class of 2019

2018-2019

Shirin Dhanani, Class of 2018 
Elizabeth Snyder Wood, Class of 2018

2017-2018

Elizabeth Perez, Class of 2017

2016-2017

Sara Purvin, Class of 2016

2015-2016

Justin Brown, Class of 2015
Sofia Linarte, Class of 2015

2014 - 2015

Michelle Lee, Class of 2014

2013-2014

Anna Stallmann, Class of 2013

2012-2013

Deena Schwartz, Class of 2012
Andrea Vazquez, Class of 2012

2011-2012

Marcie Kobak, Class of 2011
Anitoshia Johnson, Class of 2011
Damian Treffs, Class of 2011

2010-2011

Tamara Alexander, Class of 2010
Joe Costello, Class of 2010
Gerrald Ellis, Class of 2010
Paolo Meireles, Class of 2010
Lynda Tooker, Class of 2010
Scott Wagner, Class of 2010

2009-2010

Shireen Ahmed, Class of 2009
Mary Cox, Class of 2009
David Friedman, Class of 2009
Brandon Gershowitz Class of 2009
Yelena Kozlova, Class of 2009
Kathryn Newman, Class of 2009

2008-2009

Suzana Carlos, Class of 2008
Michael Higgins, Class of 2008
Emilio Justiniano, Class of 2008
Jessica Selman, Class of 2008

2007-2008

Nyssa Fajardo, Class of 2007
Gerard Haskins, Class of 2007
William Lim, Class of 2007
Erynne Novetsky, Class of 2007
Elisabeth Prael, Class of 2007
Leigh Tuccio, Class of 2007

2006-2007

Jonathan Benovitz, Class of 2006
Adonaid Casado, Class of 2006
Stephen Cincotta, Class of 2006
Carrie Loewenthal, Class of 2006

AmeriCorps Members

Katherine Alonzo 240 x 240

Katherine Alonzo

AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator 2019-2020

Katherine Alonzo is a 2019-2020 AmeriCorps VISTA Member and Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator. This year she will support the Feerick Center in addressing the problems facing marginalized New Yorkers. Specifically, Katherine will be building on the Feerick Center's commitment to assisting low-income and economically distressed individuals facing consumer debt issues through its work with the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island CLARO Programs. Katherine graduated from Binghamton University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics. Following her VISTA service, Katherine would like to pursue a law degree while continuing to fight for social justice reform.

Kaitlyn Filzer

Kaitlyn Filzer

AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Volunteer Lawyers for Veterans Program, Project Coordinator 2018-2019

Kaitlyn Filzer is a 2018-2019 AmeriCorps VISTA memberr and Project Coordinator for the Volunteer Lawyers for Veterans Program. Kaitlyn is a recent graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Toledo. She practiced law in Eastern Tennessee, focusing on transactional work. At the Feerick Center she is building a career in public interest by assisting underserved communities through direct advocacy and project development. Over the past few years, Kaitlyn has interned and volunteered with various nonprofit organizations and government agencies. During law school, she worked for Advocating Opportunity, an organization that provides holistic representation and advocacy for human trafficking survivors, and interned with the Office of the Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals. She is honored to have the opportunity to provide legal resources to our country's veterans.

Dilon Goncalvez

Dilon Goncalves

LEEAP Education Program Coordinator 2019-2020

Dilon Goncalves is a 2019-2020 AmeriCorps VISTA serving and coordinating the educational component of the Legal Economic, and Education Advancement Project (LEEAP Ed.). Dilon is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa from which he received a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication along with a certificate in Human Rights. A Chicago native with Angolan roots he is looking forward to working with various neighborhoods throughout New York to address educational inequities through improved access to high-quality public high schools. Following his VISTA service, Dilon hopes to pursue a law degree and a public interest career focused on combatting racial, social, and economic injustice.

Maris Moon

Maris Moon

AmeriCorps Vista Leader LEEAP 2019-2020


Maris Moon is the 2019-2020 AmeriCorps VISTA Leader who is helping to expand the capacity of the Feerick Center and partner organizations that are funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service. Maris graduated in 2018 from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and European Studies. Maris spent her first year out of college as an AmeriCorps State and National member at Great Oaks Charter School in the Lower East Side as a 6th grade English tutor. She is eager that her year at the Feerick Center will allow her to explore and continue to push for social justice in underserved and marginalized communities through pursuing a law degree and eventually getting into international human rights law.

Daniella Torres 240 x 240

 

Daniella Torres
AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator 2019-2020

Daniella Torres is a 2019-2020 AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow coordinating the Attorney Emeritus Program, a dual effort by the Feerick Center for Social Justice and the New York State Unified Court System connecting older attorneys with pro bono volunteer opportunities in nonprofit organizations within the Greater New York Region. In 2017, she received an individualized Bachelor of Arts in National Security from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and was awarded the Founders’ Day Award upon being named a University Honors Scholar. Daniella looks forward to pursuing a law degree after her service and launching a career in law and public policy.

AmeriCorps VISTA Members

2019-2020

Katherine Alonzo, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator
Dilon Goncalves, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Maris Moon, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Daniella Torres, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

2018-2019
Julia Cummings, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator
Azalea Capers, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Kaitlyn Filzer, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Volunteer Lawyers for Veterans Program, Project Coordinator
Camilla Leonard, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Veteran's Program Coordinator
Evan Mullen, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
Cora Vasserman, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

2017-2018
Azalea Capers, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Naama Hod, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
Camilla Leonard, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Veteran's Program Coordinator
Cora Vasserman, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

2016-2017
Luigi Bonifacio, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Brian Bowen, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
Shannon Litvin, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator

2015-2016
Christine Brathwaite, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Yolanda Garcia, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator
Donita Krasniqi, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

2014-2015
Liza Carroll, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Matthew Q. English IV, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Attorney Emeritus & LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Kyle Giller, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator

2013 -2014
Priscilla Alabi, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Katie McConnell, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
Sara Trongone, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator

NYC Civic Corps Members

2014-2015
Donita Krasniqi, NYC Civic Corps Member – Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
Chelsea Wilson, NYC Civic Corps Member – Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

2013-2014
Nicholas Macri, NYC Civic Corps Member – Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
Samantha Varn, NYC Civic Corps Member – Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

2012-2013
Laura Backus, NYC Civic Corps Member – Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
Brandon Ruben, NYC Civic Corps Member – LEEAP Education Program Coordinator
Anting Wang, NYC Civic Corps Member – LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator

2011- 2012
Ayanthi Gunawardana, NYC Civic Corps Member – Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
Joanna Laine, NYC Civic Corps Member – Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

New York Women's Bar Association Foundation Fellows

New York Women's Bar Association Foundation Fellows

Fellows for the Year 2015-2016
Karen Ansong '16
Virginia Brown Anderson '16
Tzipora Zeines '18

Fellows for the Year 2014-2015
Laura Wooley ‘16
Razeem Zaman ‘16

Fellows for the Year 2013-2014
Lauren Irby ‘15
Sofia Linarte ‘15

Fellows for the Year 2012-2013
Chrissie Cahill ‘13
Jennifer Puchalski ‘14

Fellows for the Year 2011 -2012
Zohra Ahmed ‘13
Marisa Menna ‘13

Fellows for the Year 2010 -2011
Donella Green ‘12
Andrea Vazquez ‘12

Contact Us

Feerick Center for Social Justice of Fordham School of Law
150 West 62nd Street, 7 Floor, New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-7671

Fax: 646-312-8238

Email: feerickcenter@law.fordham.edu