Recent Grad Frank Kearl Wins National Lawyers Guild’s C.B. King Award


During his decorated Fordham Law career, Frank Kearl ’18 helped organize over 30 events on hot-button issues such as immigration, LGBTQ rights, and mass incarceration, participated in public interest projects across the United States and in Mexico, and held leadership roles in a number of student-run public interest groups at the Law School.

For his considerable efforts, the National Lawyers Guild will honor Kearl with its annual C.B. King Award, given to a graduating law student, during the NLG Law for the People Convention this fall in Portland, Oregon. Kearl, a three-year member of the Fordham NLG chapter and its co-chair, notably started the NLG Critical Race Theory lunch series for 1L students to discuss and analyze first-year classes through a critical race theory lens. This series subsequently resulted in a partnership with other New York City law schools to hold a critical race theory symposium in April.

Kearl’s NLG nomination letter featured nominations from a total of 14 students, faculty, and administrators. Fordham NLG co-chair DeAnna Baumle ’18 and board members 2L Leanne Fornelli, Anita Rojas Carroll ’18, and Dennis Donnelly ’18 collaborated on the letter.

Kearl noted that he was unaware of his nomination until he learned of his selection for the C.B. King Award, named after the pioneering African American lawyer and prominent civil rights movement activist.

“It’s a huge validation of all the work I did at Fordham,” Kearl said of the award, “but more than anything it shines a light on how special the Fordham community is. I was just so touched by the fact my fellow classmates and professors of mine took time during the busiest time of the school year to nominate me. It reaffirmed how important this community has been to me and how important it will continue to be.”


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