Top 100 - 2011

John D. Ferrick

Norris Professor of Law at Fordham University Law School and former Dean of the law school, John D. Ferrick has devoted his life to three things: the law, Fordham, and bringing an end to violence in Northern Ireland.

The son of immigrants from County Mayo, Ferrick earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham in 1958 and his LL.B in law from Fordham in 1961. In 1976, he returned to Fordham as an adjunct professor, becoming a full-time professor in 1982. That same year he was named Dean of the law school, a position he held until 2002. Ferrick is an expert on the 25th Amendment and Electoral College, alternative dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration, constitutional law and labor and employment law.

In 2010, The Flax Trust honored Ferrick at an awards event in New York for his efforts to end violence in Northern Ireland. The father of six and grandfather of eight spoke movingly of his wife Emalie, whom he thanked for her companionship over 50 years and said of his parents, “They came to America from County Mayo, each with a few pounds and only one or two possessions. . . .we took from them dance and music for life, our Catholic faith, our American citizenship, our Irish heritage, and their moral compass and example.”