FLAA Strategic Plan, Leadership and History

The Fordham Law Alumni Association Board of Directors unanimously approved the Association's strategic plan, Fordham Law Rising. The plan provides a framework for the Association's future and focuses on six key priorities: member services, organizational growth, student engagement, staff development, and financial security.
  • The last strategic plan undertaken by the Fordham Law Alumni Association was conducted in the summer of 2011. Since then, a majority of the goals and objectives from that plan have been implemented. In January of 2022, the FLAA Board launched a new strategic planning process led by Laurie Berke-Weiss ’83 and Mauricio A. España ’03.

    Through a comprehensive alumni-wide survey and numerous listening sessions, it was determined that the strategic planning steering committee would create seven committees that included: alumni chapters, alumni communication, alumni giving, alumni programming/engagement/events, community relations, governance, and student engagement/support.

    The committee work lasted for a period of nine months, delving into their respective mandates, assessing current implementations, and looking at historical/internal data, best practices, and information on what other law schools are doing, as well as working with constituents relevant to the mandate. The committees’ proposed goals and objectives have been further refined so that they may be implemented in a way that is most successful and has the greatest impact for the community at large.

    The goal is to have the full FLAA Board vote on adopting the latest strategic plan at the October 12, 2023 meeting. The adoption of this plan will be critical to the effort of making our storied organization even stronger. The draft plan is listed below.

  • President
    Brenda Gill ’95

    First Vice President 
    John Normile ’88

    Vice Presidents
    Laurie Berke-Weiss ’83
    Hon. Denny Chin ’78
    Vilia B. Hayes ’80
    Hon. Sherry Klein Heitler ’76
    Constantine N. Katsoris ’57
    Hon. John F. Keenan ’54
    Hon. Loretta A. Preska ’73
    Hon. Jacqueline W. Silbermann ’72

    Rose Gill ’88

    Corresponding Secretary
    Willajeanne McLean ’86

    Recording Secretary
    Mauricio España ’03

    Past Presidents
    David B. Anders ’94
    James S. Brown ’72
    John R. Costantino ’70
    Denis F. Cronin ’72
    Palmina M. Fava ’97
    John D. Feerick ’61
    William P. Frank ’66
    Mark J. Hyland ’80
    Edward M. Joyce ’86
    Thomas J. Kavaler ’72
    Sharon L. McCarthy ’89
    George C. Ross ’66
    Michael K. Stanton, Jr. ’86
    James E. Tolan ’62
    Mark H. Tuohey III ’73
    John H. Wolff ’76

    Class of 2025
    Kathleen Cunningham ’99
    Tom Curran ’89
    Amy Lamberti ’04
    William Malpica ’00
    John Normile ’88

    Class of 2026
    Maureen Cronin ’02
    Mauricio España ’03
    Ed Greason Jr. ’91
    John J. Hanley ’00

    Class of 2027
    Joseph Cordaro ’03
    John A. Owens Jr. ’04
    Gregory Xethalis ’05

    Class of 2028
    Ray Dowd ’91
    Loren Forrest ’98
    Ross Galin ’01
    Jennifer Rosa ’04
    Ximeng (CiCi) Shen ’16
    Hon. Laura Ward ’78

    Class of 2029
    Timothy Corriston ’86
    Christopher LaVigne ’09
    Rosevelie Márquez Morales ’02
    Jason Otaño ’04
    Valerie White ’96

    Class of 2030
    Azeema M. Batchelor ’04
    Jill Heitler Blomberg ’97
    Robert Gault ’17
    Katherine Hughes ’08
    Kristy Rogan Meringolo ’06
    Neal Miranda ’80
    Achilles M. Perry ’89
    David M. White ’02

    Class of 2031
    Lee Cortes, Jr. ’03
    Nancy Delaney ’88
    Deneen Donnley ’92
    Anthony Insogna ’94
    Tracey McNeil ’99
    Hon. Katharine Parker ’92
    Stacey Rappaport ’96
    Hon. Madeline Singas ’91
    Ralph Wolf ’06

    Class of 2032
    Mary Kate Brennan '12
    Steven Cordero '99
    Derick D. Dailey '18
    BoHee Yoon '09

    Class of 2033
    Gina Castellano ’08
    Michelle Chan ’15
    David Feder ’07
    Erin Klewin ’13
    Hon. Grace E. Lee ’14
    Kevin J. Quaratino ’16
    Adrienne Valencia Garcia ’96

    Lifetime Directors
    Maureen Bateman ’68
    Hon. Stuart M. Bernstein ’75
    Robert D. Bickford, Jr. ’74
    Hon. Vincent Briccetti ’80
    Timothy J. Brosnan ’84
    William Campbell ’85
    Sylvia Chin ’77
    Todd Cosenza ’98
    Joseph De Simone ’94
    Hon. Mark C. Dillon ’84
    Hon. Leda Dunn Wettre ’93
    David M. Einhorn ’76
    Steve Epstein ’98
    William J. Fenrich ’97
    Scott FitzGerald ’92
    Thomas J. Fitzpatrick ’66
    Jodi Ganz ’98
    Daniel F.X. Geoghan ’99
    Rita Glavin ’96
    Hon. Arthur J. Gonzalez ’82
    Eric F. Grossman ’93
    Edward J. Guardaro Jr. ’85
    Adam S. Hoffinger ’82
    Patricia M. Hynes ’66
    Frederick R. Kessler ’88
    Karl Kilb ’95
    David A. Luttinger ’62
    Annemarie P. McAvoy ’87
    Brian J. McCarthy ’78
    Matthew T. McLaughlin ’94
    William Min ’90
    Maura Monaghan ’96
    Thomas A. Moore ’72
    Patricia A. Murphy ’81
    Charles K. O’Neill ’72
    Maura O'Sullivan ’85
    James W. Quinn ’71
    Robert J. Reilly ’75
    Timothy G. Reynolds ’80
    Hon. Renee Roth ’69
    Betty J. Santangelo ’74
    Hon. Cathy Seibel ’85
    Thomas McC. Souther ’84
    Hon. Ellen Spodek ’88
    Hon. Thomas R. Suozzi ’89
    Hon. John Sweeny ’74
    Betsy Tsai ’01
    Victoria Turchetti ’03
    Kathleen Walsh ’89
    Susan S. Webster ’84

  • Gavin White Committee on Alumni Chapters
    Co-Chair: Timothy Corriston ‘86
    Co-Chair: William Malpica ‘00
    Mission: Enhance regional coordination among all FLAA chapters, increase engagement and involvement at both the regional and international levels, and improve cohesion and event coordination among all FLAA chapters in each region.

    Alumni Communication
    Co-Chair: Azeema Batchelor ‘04
    Co-Chair: Karl Kilb ‘95
    Mission: Utilize communications and technology to better educate the community about events, assess the efficacy of the various ways in which alumni receive important and relevant information from the FLAA, and improve access to employment opportunities.

    Alumni Giving
    Co-Chair: Willajeanne McLean ‘86
    Co-Chair: Stacey J. Rappaport ‘96
    Mission: Create greater visibility for the financial needs of the Law School, encourage alumni to take on an active role in informing fellow alumni as well as in supporting current students, promote alumni engagement, introduce the FLAA to potential new active members, and provide new opportunities for alumni to give to students.

    Alumni Programming/Engagement/Events
    Co-Chair: Kathleen Cunningham ‘99
    Co-Chair: Raymond Dowd ‘91
    Mission: Further develop and implement a diversified, meaningful, and comprehensive array of opportunities tied to alumni interests, to Law School priorities, and to the alumni, students, administration, and faculty constituencies in order to further entrench the FLAA as a resource to the Fordham Law community, create and foster alumni engagement, encourage more inclusive programming and participants, increase attendance at events, and incentivize alumni to participate more deeply.

    Community Relations
    Co-Chair: Lee Cortes ‘03
    Co-Chair: Ralph Wolf ‘06
    Mission: Provide alumni with opportunities to engage with the community and give back via volunteer activities, hone in on goals important to the group, provide a better understanding of engagement, better understand what resources are already readily available, and continue to solidify our commitment to providing service.

    Co-Chair: David Anders ‘94
    Co-Chair: Palmina Fava '97
    Mission: Ensure that the FLAA Board is structured and governed in such a way going forward that enables the Board to effectively carry out the FLAA mission of developing and maintaining social and professional interaction among the alumni, administration, faculty and students.

    Student Engagement/Support
    Co-Chair: Nancy Delaney ‘88
    Co-Chair: David White ‘02
    Mission: Ensure greater alumni connection to the FLAA, along with a broader subset of new alumni, while cultivating the most talented alumni for leadership and community engagement roles, raise the visibility and profile of the FLAA to the existing student body, augment the existing FLAA 1L mentorship program operated through our House System, improve connections between alumni and students, and improve career outcomes, FLAA awareness and engagements.

  • Fordham University was founded over 150 years ago as St. John's College, Fordham on June 24, 1841. The Law School opened September 28, 1905, in Collins Hall on the Rose Hill campus. From the very beginning, Fordham Law graduates demonstrated a special loyalty to the school and to their fellow alumni, and the earliest school bulletins note the presence of alumni among the faculty and as special lecturers and mentors for students. The first dean, Paul Fuller, along with Fordham Law professor Alton B. Parker, the Democratic nominee in 1904 for president (against Teddy Roosevelt), encouraged this.

    In 1948, James B.M. McNally ’20 and a group of alumni (including Justice Samuel Gold ’24, Marion Guilfoyle ’45, Edward Guardaro ’45, Edward Schulkind ’14, and Loretta Conway ’44) incorporated the Fordham Law Alumni Association as a separate entity. Judge McNally, presiding judge of the New York State Appellate Division, First Department, was a man of great stature and great vision. He shaped the Association’s future activities, including the Annual Luncheon, alumni chapters, and annual Christmas reception. Schulkind served as president of the Association for six years and was responsible for instituting the Association’s luncheons at the New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting.

    Judge William C. Hecht ’16 served as president during the mid-1960s as the Association continued to give much-needed financial support to students through our Scholarship Fund.

    During the presidency of Denis McInerney ’51, the Association launched the John F. Sonnett Memorial Lecture Series. This annual event has brought many prominent law-related speakers to the Law School, including Supreme Court Justices, the Chief Justice of Ireland, two Lord Chancellors of Great Britain, the Chief Judge of the state of New York, and the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

    During the presidency of Harry McCallion ’41, the Association moved its annual Christmas receptions from the Advertising Club on Park Avenue to the Lowenstein Center.

    During this period, through the generosity of Louis Stein ’26, the Fordham Stein Prize was created. This annual award recognizes attorneys with the highest standards of professional conduct and leadership, and ultimately led to the creation of the Stein Center for Law & Ethics.

    In the mid-1990s under the leadership of Michael K. Stanton ’59, the Corporate Law Center was established. Stanton’s successor, William P. Frank '66, began a summer foreign travel program. At this time, the Association also became a founder of the Crowley Human Rights Program. During the presidency of George C. Ross ’66, the travel program expanded and the Mulligan Golf Tournament, started by Ross, marked its 10th anniversary.

    Throughout all the years, Fordham Law has enjoyed the most loyal and supportive of all alumni.

    The Fordham Law Alumni Association came into being in January 1911. Eugene F. McGee ’08, the valedictorian of the first graduating class, was named president. The vice president was William J. Fallon ’09. These longtime friends and later partners became legendary in legal circles, especially Fallon who was ranked one of the top three defense attorneys in the history of the country. He was also the subject of the bestseller The Great Mouthpiece. Among his clients were Booker T. Washington, Nicky Arnstein (gambler husband of “Funny Girl” Fanny Brice), and Arnold Rothstein (fixer of the 1919 Black Sox World Series). He is credited with saving 122 men from the electric chair.

    Caesar L. Pitassy ’41, a partner in the Rogers & Wells firm, assumed the presidency in 1959. He formalized the Association’s procedures and established our office and staff in the new law school building at Lincoln Center. Our first executive director was Frances M. Blake ’45, the daughter of Fordham Law Professor John A. Blake ’16. During Frances Blake’s tenure, the Association grew into one of the largest dues-paying law alumni groups in the country. We began issuing an Alumni Directory and initiated quarterly luncheons held in midtown and downtown locations. Blake retired from the directorship in 1986 after 22 years of service.

    Around this time, Association Vice President Leo T. Kissam ’23 and other alumni created the Fordham Law Annual Fund, which has since become one of the major philanthropic entities among American law schools.

    In 1974, John D. Feerick ’61, then a partner in the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, became president of the Association. Under his leadership, the Association created the Corporate Law Institute annual program, from which the LLM programs sprang in 1989.

    Beginning in 1978, former Alumni President John R. Vaughan ’64 began a campaign focusing alumni on assisting with career placement. His successors, Paul Curran ’56 and James E. Tolan ’62, further encouraged alumni to raise funds for the school.

    The Annual Luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is our premier event. Believed to be the largest law school event in the country, it has featured such notable speakers as John F. Kennedy, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Mario Cuomo, Bill Bradley, Thomas A. Moore, Malcolm Wilson, Edward I. Koch, and William Hughes Mulligan. Indeed, the 2002 Annual Luncheon honoring Dean John D. Feerick was the largest in our history, exceeding the capacity of the Grand Ballroom.

    The presidencies of Thomas J. Kavaler ’72, Denis F. Cronin ’72, and John R. Costantino ’70 saw an increased focus on the School’s national ambitions. Under the presidencies of John H. Wolff ’76 and Mark Tuohey ’72 these efforts culminated with the establishment of the Association's national chapters in Los Angeles; Miami; New England; Washington, D.C.; and greater Palm Beach County.

    Under the leadership of presidents Jim Brown ’72 and Mark Hyland, the Association engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning initiative. In 2012, the Association’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the Association’s first strategic plan, Fordham Law Rising. The multi-year plan is designed to provide a framework for the Association's future and focuses on six key priorities: member services, organizational growth, student engagement, staff development, and financial security. Tremendous strides in the implementation of the Plan have occurred under the presidency of Michael K. Stanton, Jr. ’86.

    On March 4, 2016, the Association elected its first female president, Sharon L. McCarthy '89.

    The Fordham Law Alumni Association remains devoted to Fordham Law School and its alumni, continuing to work with our ever-expanding network of national chapters and international chapters to serve our alumni wherever they may be.