Feerick Center Leadership and Staff

Feerick Center for Social Justice

The Center’s establishment reflects Fordham 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.

Our mission

The Feerick Center for Social Justice promotes the rights and addresses the problems facing marginalized and low-income New Yorkers and individuals seeking humanitarian relief, including asylum-seeking families and unaccompanied immigrant children. The center links the social justice community serving those in need to Fordham and engages the Fordham community in service of national and local social justice initiatives. 

The center works with non-profit, legal services, and public sector organizations, bar associations, and individuals to respond to the challenges of those in need. And through education and collaboration, the center engages with Fordham students, alumni, faculty and administrators to create and implement long-term innovative solutions critical for lasting change.

The Feerick Center’s work of providing direct assistance and working in collaboration with others reflects the motto and mission of Fordham Law School— “In the Service of Others”—as well as Fordham University’s expansive Jesuit mission and vision.

  • Jojo Annobil and Mary Ellen Kris serve as the co-chairs of the Feerick 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 Executive Director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
    • Eleanor Brown - Professor of Law, Fordham Law School
    • Bradley J. Butwin – Partner and Chair, O'Melveny & Myers LLP 
    • Honorable Denny Chin – United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 
    • Jennifer Ching – Executive Director, North Star Fund
    • Denis F. Cronin – President, Royalnest Corp.; Former President, Fordham Law Alumni Association
    • Kevin J. Curnin – Retired Partner and Public Service Director, Stroock
    • Bruce A. Green (Ex Officio) – Louis Stein Professor of Law, Fordham Law School; Director, Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics, Fordham Law School
    • Norrinda Brown Hayat - Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Law School
    • Peggy A. Healy –  Retired Senior Vice President, Covenant House 
    • Seymour James – Partner, Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP; Former President, New York State Bar Association
    • Constantine N. Katsoris – Wilkinson Professor of Law, Fordham Law School
    • Mary Ellen L. 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 School of Law; Director, Fordham ADR & Conflict Resolution Program
    • Carlos G. Ortiz – Vice President and General Counsel, Goya Foods, Inc.
    • Timothy G. Reynolds – Retired Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates
    • James P. Sauter - Partner, O’Neill, DiManno & Kelly
    • Thomas J. Schwarz – Interim President, Drew University
    • Robert C. Sheehan – Retired Partner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates
    • Michael K. Stanton, Jr. – Partner, Ferguson Cohen LLP; Former President, Fordham Law Alumni Association
    • Irene A. Sullivan – Retired Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates
    • Susan E. Welber – Staff Attorney, The Legal Aid Society
  • 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.

    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).

    Elizabeth B. Cooper, the Faculty Director of the Feerick Center, has been a professor at the Law School for over 25 years. She currently teaches the Legislative and Policy Advocacy Clinic, and previously has taught litigation/civil rights clinics, the Center’s Social Justice Clinic, Institutional Reform Through the Courts (with Professor Feerick), among other offerings. Her scholarship addresses issues of dignity and autonomy in numerous contexts including bioethics (particularly HIV/AIDS policies), the rights of LGBTQ individuals (especially marriage equality), and the importance of ensuring that BIPOC, LGBTQ, and women students and attorneys do not have to conform their appearances (e.g., clothing, shoes, hairstyles) to dominant culture expectations in the workplace. She also has written about aspects of clinical teaching pedagogy.

    Before coming to Fordham, Liz taught briefly at Brooklyn Law School and was an adjunct law professor at Rutgers Law School (Newark). She was a Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at the Newark, NJ law firm of Gibbons, P.C. (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, 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 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Emerson Argueta was born in El Salvador, emigrated to the United States with his family in the early 1990s, and settled on Long Island. Emerson’s experience working in immigration started in his first year at Fordham University School of Law when he volunteered with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project. He continued advocating for immigrants through multiple service trips to the family detention center in Dilley, Texas, and internships with the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) and Human Rights First.

    After graduating Fordham Law in 2018, Emerson was selected for the Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Justice Fellowship, placed with IJC's Adults with Children project where he represented vulnerable women and children living on Long Island facing removal to countries where they fear gang and domestic violence. He continued serving the Long Island immigrant community as a supervising attorney for CARECEN's Removal Defense team, mentoring IJC fellows and recent law graduates in removal defense. Emerson joined the staff of the Feerick Center for Social Justice as Associate Director in August 2023. Emerson earned his BA degree from Columbia University.

    Kevin J. Curnin, Fordham Law School '95, is consulting with the Feerick Center for Social Justice in the design of a new national advocacy training institute grounded in movement lawyering, anti-racist, and community organizing principles and actions, with the goal of training and supporting community-based advocates from different backgrounds and experiences who are interested in advancing transformative social change. Kevin brings to this role a wealth of prior experience, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of a small university and prior to that almost 25 years at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, where he was a partner and the founding director of the Public Service Project, a pioneering and award-winning pro bono program known for innovative, collaborative approaches to community economic development, disaster legal relief, and in-court access to justice models. Kevin is a recipient of the Law School's Louis J. Leftkowitz Public Service Award (2002) and the Center's Champion of Justice Award (2013) as well as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College (2017).

    Email:  [email protected] 

    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. 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 former Fordham Law School dean, Professor John D. Feerick. Dora also served as a law clerk to the late-Honorable Milton Pollack (1996-97) and 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 Jacob M. Kaplan Fellow and received a Master of Science in Urban Policy (1993).

    In 2009, Dora was honored by The New York County Lawyers 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 and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Terra Firma.

    Email: [email protected] | Tel. 212-636-7747 | Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

    Kathleen Maloney began representing immigrants in NYC in 2005.  She started her career in Queens Family Court as an attorney for children in child protective matters.  Kathleen moved to the Youth Project of the Immigration Law Unit at the Legal Aid Society as a KIND Fellow.  There she represented children in immigration court during the surge of children crossing the border without a parent.  In response, she spearheaded Immigrant Children Advocates' Relief Effort (ICARE).  At that time she taught a course at Columbia Law School and supervised students as part of the Undocumented and Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth Externship.  As an advocate she was invited to speak in law schools across the country and in Italy.  In 2017 she became an asylum officer with USCIS.  She later was a training officer in the Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas and in the Boston Asylum Office, where she delivered local and national trainings. 

    Johanna Ocaña is the Senior Coordinating Attorney of Pro Bono Initiatives at the Feerick Center. Johanna comes to the Feerick Center from Bronx Legal Services, where she represented tenants and tenant associations organizing to better their living conditions and enforce their tenant and Fair Housing rights. Prior to law school, Johanna worked as a paralegal at the New York Legal Assistance Group focused on eviction defense and public benefits advocacy. Additionally, she organized with workers and tenants at the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops on campaigns against wage theft in New York and displacement and gentrification in the Lower East Side of New York City. Johanna received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University and her law degree from CUNY School of Law.

    Email: [email protected]

    Crystal Reyes serves as a paralegal for the Feerick Center’s CLARO program. She is a New York native and is passionate about increasing language access and creating pathways to justice for her community. Prior to joining the CLARO team, Crystal worked at a Fair Housing non-profit, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and a private immigration law firm. Crystal received her B.A. from Denison University where she double majored in Black Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies.

    Clementine Schillings, Senior Project Researcher and 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: [email protected] | Tel. 646-346-5169 | Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

  • 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

  • 2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    Monique Boamah
    2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTA Leader

    Monique’s work has involved me working collaboratively with non-profit and legal organizations, serving as an advocate for tenant eviction prevention and affordable housing. She served as an AmeriCorps VISTA Community Organizer in Westchester County, New York under the VISTA Affordable Housing Preservation Program (VAHPP). Her impactful experience with the VAHPP project, tied with her personal story, garnered her passion for public service, advocacy, and an interest in law. Thereafter, she worked as a consultant providing civic engagement services to help execute project assignments for the local government, non-profit, and private sector. Monique is currently continuing her education at Mercy College to obtain a B.A. in Behavioral Science with a minor in Legal Studies.

    Princess Dang
    2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator

    Princess Dang is the 2023-2024 Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator at Fordham Law School’s Feerick Center for Social Justice. She briefly worked as a College Connection Mentor at a youth empowerment non-profit organization and law firm in Nashville and previously as a Domestic Violence Advocate at a legal organization. She has a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Legal Reasoning and Analysis and graduated with highest distinction at Baylor University. Princess aspires to have a lifework committed to the pursuit of social equity and aims to do so with relentless compassion. After her AmeriCorps service, Princess plans to continue her journey toward furthering a legal education that will equip her with the tools to zealously and critically advocate for marginalized communities.

    Liz McMillan
    2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator

    Liz McMillan pivoted to the nonprofit world after 20 plus years working as a Project Manager in Film and Television. Helping others and working on meaningful projects has become her new passion. Working as an AmeriCorps VISTA, she gets the chance to gain valuable experience at the Feerick Center while serving her community. On her off days she volunteers for WE ACT for Environmental Justice working on campaigns that lead to bills being passed.

    Mitchell Taylor
    2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator

    Mitchell Taylor serves the Feerick Center as an NYC Consumer Advocacy Project Coordinator. He holds a B.S.B.A. in International Business from Georgetown University. His prior experience in financial services includes working at an investment bank and a fintech startup. Now, he aims to promote economic justice for New Yorkers as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Feerick Center. He plans to attend law school after his year of service to continue representing financially underserved communities.

    Spencer Wang
    2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator

    Spencer Wang is a 2023-2024 AmeriCorps VISTA and Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator at Fordham Law School's Feerick Center for Social Justice. He is originally from Wayne, New Jersey, and graduated from Emory University with a BBA in Business Administration and PPL (Philosophy, Politics, and Law). During college, Spencer worked for non-profits like Human Rights First and led Emory’s student mutual aid fund supporting low-income students. He is passionate about empowering underserved communities and is committed to racial and socioeconomic justice. Following his time at AmeriCorps, he hopes to attend law school and pursue a legal career in civil rights or public interest law to reform the systemic injustice and inequity present within our institutions.

    2022-2023 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    Isabela Coppler, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator
    Jordan Eady-Lee, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator
    Madeleine Foley, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator
    Shannon Porter, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
    Sean Tan, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator

    2021-2022 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    Kelsey Benjamin, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator
    John Kauffman, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Feerick Center Veterans Rights Project (FCVRP) and the COVID Response Project (CRP) Project Coordinator
    Kimberly Martinez, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator
    Theresa Mahoney, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator
    Ashley Ramsay, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator
    Alero Simon, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader

    2020-2021 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    Kelsey Benjamin, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator
    Patrice A. Bryan, AmeriCorps VISTA Leader
    Molly Miller, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator
    Matty Motylenski, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Feerick Center Veterans Rights Project (FCVRP) and the COVID Response Project (CRP) Project Coordinator
    Ella Shlonsky, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Greater NYC Attorney Emeritus Coordinator
    Jordan Williams, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Consumer Assistance Project Coordinator

    2019-2020 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    Katherine Alonzo, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, LEEAP Consumer Debt Program Coordinator
    Taylor Bessinger, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Volunteer Lawyers for Veterans Program, Project 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 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    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 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    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 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    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 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    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 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    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 AmeriCorps VISTA Members

    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 NYC Civic Corps Members

    Donita Krasniqi, NYC Civic Corps Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
    Chelsea Wilson, NYC Civic Corps Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

    2013-2014 NYC Civic Corps Members

    Nicholas Macri, NYC Civic Corps Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
    Samantha Varn, NYC Civic Corps Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

    2012-2013 NYC Civic Corps Members

    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 NYC Civic Corps Members

    Ayanthi Gunawardana, NYC Civic Corps Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator
    Joanna Laine, NYC Civic Corps Member, Attorney Emeritus Program Coordinator

  • On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Center, we note with gratitude that thanks to a historic gift to the Feerick Center by the New York Women's Bar Association (NYWBA) Foundation, from 2010 to 2016, an extraordinary group of Fordham Law School women students served as NYWBA Foundation Fellows and provided instrumental support to the Center's work.

    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