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 Strategic Planning Initiative was launched in the summer of 2011. The process was led by an Executive Committee composed of the following alumni.

    Co-Chairs: Hon. Loretta A. Preska ’73 and Jim Tolan ’62
    David Anders ’94
    James Brown ’72
    Mark Hyland ’80
    Maura Monaghan ’96
    Mike Stanton ’86

    A comprehensive survey was sent to alumni, and an impressive 23% responded. In the fall, focus groups were hosted in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco to gather additional insights and ideas. 

In January 2012, the Association's Board of Directors held a strategic planning summit, which led to specific task force committees being formed to further sharpen goals. These committees included membership, governance, engagement, development, communications and technology, and education/professional development.

    Implementation of the plan began the following summer. The adoption of the plan has been critical to the effort of making a storied organization even stronger. For the goals of the Association to be achieved, we need each member of the community to be active participants in its continued implementation.

  • President
    Edward M. Joyce ’86

    First Vice President 
    Brenda Gill ’95

    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
    Elisa Shevlin Rizzo ’98

    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
    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 2023
    Hon. Mark C. Dillon ’84
    Daniel F.X. Geoghan ’99
    Thomas McC. Souther ’84
    Victoria Turchetti ’03

    Class of 2024
    Edward J. Guardaro Jr. ’85
    Karl Kilb ’95
    Betsy Tsai ’01
    Kathleen Walsh ’89
    Hon. Leda Dunn Wettre ’93

    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
    Frederick R. Kessler ’88

    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

    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
    David M. Einhorn ’76
    Steve Epstein ’98
    William J. Fenrich ’97
    Scott FitzGerald ’92
    Thomas J. Fitzpatrick ’66
    Jodi Ganz ’98
    Rita Glavin ’96
    Hon. Arthur J. Gonzalez ’82
    Eric F. Grossman ’93
    Adam S. Hoffinger ’82
    Patricia M. Hynes ’66
    David A. Luttinger ’62
    Ellen M. Martin ’77
    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
    Hon. Ellen Spodek ’88
    Hon. Thomas R. Suozzi ’89
    Hon. John Sweeny ’74
    Susan S. Webster ’84

  • Communications and Technology
    Co-Chair: Bill Min ‘90
    Co-Chair: Laurie Berke-Weiss ‘83
    Mission Statement: To work closely with the Law School to explore various avenues to utilize communications and technology to better educate the community about events and to elevate the profile of Fordham law both internally and externally.

    Co-Chair: Scott Fitzgerald ‘92
    Co-Chair: Palmina Fava ‘97
    Mission Statement: Create greater visibility for the financial needs of the Law School and encourage both students and alumni to take on an active fundraising role by focusing on the concepts of “excitement”, “tradition”, and “knowledge” to advance the existing alumni committees and to improve the infrastructure (staff, programs, data, and systems) necessary to support the ongoing expansion and evolution of alumni fundraising and volunteer organization in order to secure the financial resources needed to enhance institutional effectiveness.

    Education/Professional Development
    Co-Chair: Jodi Ganz ‘98
    Co-Chair: TBA
    Mission Statement: Increase the value that the FLAA provides to its members by increasing the educational and professional development services offered to alumni and, recognizing that opportunities for professional networking are more critical than ever, enhance networking opportunities by increasing and improving interaction among students, recent graduates, more senior alumni, and faculty members through the establishment of FLAA affinity groups.

    Co-Chair: Sal Romanello ‘97
    Co-Chair: Gavin White ‘01
    Mission Statement: 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.

    Co-Chair: Rita Glavin ‘96
    Co-Chair: Leda Dunn Wettre ‘93
    Mission Statement: Diversify the Board so that all alumni members feel welcome, and ensure that the FLAA is structured to effectively carry out its mission of developing and maintaining social and professional interaction among the alumni, administration, faculty and students.

    Co-Chair: Todd Cosenza ‘98
    Co-Chair: Gabriel Gillet ‘11
    Mission Statement: Provide a framework for a future committed to member services, growth and sustained engagement, by broadening the base; supporting our Memberships’ goals; becoming even more focused on serving the diverse needs of our Alumni; and making the FLAA an important part of the professional lives of our Graduates.

  • 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.