Institute for Law & Public Policy Young Alumni Panel
Monday, May 15th - 2:30pm
Brother Henry S. Wright Learning Commons
Nick Iacono '08, Georgetown University Law Center '22 - Juris Doctor
Joe Pisocolo '11, Fordham University School of Law '22 - Juris Doctor
Mike Atalla '15, Harvard Law School '22 - Juris Doctor
Thomas Rafferty '17, Boston College '21 - B.A. Political Science Finalizing Law School Selection Process to Attend in the Fall
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The Institute for Law & Public Policy will be an educational offering in the field of law like no other at the high school level. The Institute as it grows will consist of pertinent elective law classes, a lecture series, a speech and debate team, and experiential opportunities such as courtroom observations, shadow days, mentorships, and internships.
With cutting-edge technology and resources such as LexisNexis library for legal research and a state-of-the-art courtroom for mock trials and a legislative forum at their disposal, our students will experience countless aspects of the law including litigation, corporate law, law enforcement, and creating and applying laws, to name just a few.
This comprehensive initiative will also reinforce and enhance curriculum programs targeted at instilling meaningful life skills of critical thinking and communication. In total, curriculum and extracurricular programs will combine to produce Faithful Men who understand the skills of logical argumentation, critical thought, and precision in analysis and expression that will serve them well not only in a career in law but in any career path they choose in life.
Louis R. Tobacco '90
President - Monsignor Farrell High School
"Monsignor Farrell High School holds a position on Staten Island as a leader in education. Over the past several years, we have invested heavily in modern-day tools to provide our students with the skills and knowledge they will need for college and to be productive members of society. The Institute for Law & Public Policy is the next step in introducing real-world, practical experiences into the educational process. We draw great strength and an abundance of resources from our alumni community which enable us to provide our Faithful Men with an unmatched learning experience in all facets of law and public policy."
Lawrence V. Musanti
Principal - Monsignor Farrell High School
"The Institute will provide our students the opportunity to learn from their alumni brothers and others in the legal field the skills of logical thinking, precise language, and persuasive argumentation so necessary to be successful lawyers. More importantly, the strong moral foundation provided by a Farrell education assures that they will be ethical in their pursuit of the law."
Alumni Advisory Council
Stephen Macri '78
Chairman - Monsignor Farrell High School Board of Trustees
Office Managing Shareholder - Ogletree Deakins
"The Monsignor Farrell Institute for Law and Public Policy demonstrates the continued willingness of our alumni from the legal profession to give back and share their professional experiences for the benefit of our younger brothers who are contemplating their own careers.
The many graduates who have had very distinguished careers in the legal profession have burnished further the sterling reputation of Monsignor Farrell's legacy of public service. The Institute for Law and Public Policy is a further manifestation of our school's commitment to the faithful service of our community."
Peter Krause '66
President - Harvard Law School Association
Harvard Law School Dean's Advisory Board
"Law is an invaluable collection of those wise restraints that make men and women free. Society would be chaos without its observance. I am so fortunate to have graduated from law school. It has been an invaluable tool during my three-part career on Wall Street in the fields of legal practice, investment banking and private equity. I strongly recommend a legal education to all Farrell students and alumni."
Michael McMahon '75
District Attorney of Richmond County
"I think it is an incredible advancement in the education of the Vir Fidelis. The most important thing that we learn as Faithful Men is how we can use our education to impact and help others."
Anthony Bisignano '75
Founding Partner - The Bisignano Law Firm
"Attending Monsignor Farrell High School was an extraordinary experience. I was inspired to follow my dreams and believe that anything is possible. I received a great education and became part of a family of lifelong friends. In the process, I learned integrity, compassion, perseverance, loyalty, and faith. The teachings and experiences at Farrell helped me develop a passion and courage to take on any opponent and pursue justice for good cause as a trial lawyer."
Ronald Cerrachio '79
Chief Clerk - Richmond County Surrogate's Court
“I am happy to participate in any type of career program so young students can plan their futures.
I am a Farrell graduate and I didn’t have a plan or a clue as to what I wanted to do.
Thankfully, I found my “calling” and passion in the legal field, as Chief Clerk of the Surrogate’s Court, in Richmond County.
I wish I had the opportunity to learn from others when I was your age, and I hope my experiences give you an idea of how amazing your future at Monsignor Farrell High School can be!"
Charles DeStefano '79
Founding Partner - The Law Offices of Charles DeStefano
“When I grabbed my diploma and walked out of the door at Monsignor Farrell in 1979, I knew it would not be the last time I would walk those halls.
I owe so much to Farrell in terms of my personal development. It really was the place that solidified my goal to be a lawyer. In fact, if you look up the 1979 yearbook, my personal quote was that I would one day become an attorney and practice law.
Every step of the way, our dreams were within reach. It was never “could I be a lawyer?” It was always “when I become a lawyer”.
Now I’m back to pay back my alma mater and inspire my fellow Vir Fidelis. I will give them the roadmap that got me where I am today.
Any Farrell student that wants to become an attorney, will become an attorney."
William Dougherty '79
Partner - Simpson Thacher (retired)
"I have been blessed to enjoy a 36-year career as a lawyer. The foundations of my career were laid at Monsignor Farrell High School many years ago, and the life lessons learned during my four years there stay with me to this day.
I believe The Monsignor Farrell Institute for Law and Public Policy represents a fantastic opportunity for the school to continue to teach the critical thinking, leadership, communication and other skills, and to impart wisdom, judgment and humility, all essential to inspiring and preparing the next generation of legal and public policy professionals. I am delighted to lend a hand in that process."
Judge Matthew Titone '79
Surrogate Judge - Richmond County
“In teaching the law at an early age, we have the opportunity to instill in the minds of young people justice and fairness for all. Outside of math or reading, there is no greater lesson for an educational institution to undertake. Congratulations to Monsignor Farrell on this momentous endeavor.”
Judge Robert Holdman '82
Justice - New York State Supreme Court (retired)
"I am incredibly excited about the opening of the Monsignor Farrell Institute for Law and Public Policy. The Institute will lay the foundation for Farrell’s young men to follow in the footsteps of so many Farrell Alumni who thrived in the law and public service. The Institute for Law and Public Policy is one of the great next steps Farrell is taking to help open doors and endless possibilities for its young men.”
Mario Gallucci '82
The Gallucci Law Firm
“It is once again a privilege to be part of my Farrell Family and participate in the new Monsignor Farrell Institute for Law & Public Policy. It was an honor to teach practical law over the years and see the progress so many of my students made, becoming attorneys, politicians, and businessmen in our community and our Farrell Family."
Andy Lanza '82
New York State Senator
"The cornerstone of the American way is our system of laws, which guarantees our liberties as established in our Constitution. The cornerstone of the education I received at Monsignor Farrell High School is the focus of moral value and doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. I am excited to be an active part of my alma mater’s Institute for Law and Public Policy which will form leaders who will shape a bright future for our country."
Vito Fossella '83
Staten Island Borough President
"There is nothing more important than the rule of law. These laws come together when people of good will look to do the right thing. I encourage all of our students to step up and make a difference in this field. The Institute for Law & Public Policy will be the foundation for our Faithful Men."
Mike Cusick '87
New York State Assemblyman
"I have been a public servant at the city, state, and federal levels of government for over 30 years. I have been a Vir Fidelis for even longer. I am truly proud of my alma mater, and excited for the current and future students, as this extraordinary program, the Monsignor Farrell High School Institute for Law & Public Policy, will no doubt inspire generations of faithful men to fulfill the school's mission of living a life for others."
Phil Mancuso '96
Mancuso & Associates Law, PLLC
"The Monsignor Farrell Institute for Law and Public Policy is a great asset for the students and legal community of Staten Island. As a Monsignor Farrell alumnus and practicing attorney in the area, I fully appreciate how much the Institute will give students the ability to obtain real-life experience and be exposed to the daily operations and activities of an attorney."
Judge Paul Marrone '01
Justice, New York State Supreme Court
“I began my career working on legislation in the New York State Assembly, where the laws are crafted, and then moved on to the New York State Courts, where they’re interpreted. Farrell provided the bedrock upon which my legal training was built, and Institute for Law and Public Policy will provide that at an advanced level for my future Farrell brothers.”
Michael Tannousis '01
New York State Assemblyman, Judiciary Committee
“When I was a senior at Monsignor Farrell High School, I took the practical law elective course which was taught by actual successful practitioners. That course shaped the course of my career which eventually led me to law school and then to my career as a prosecutor. The opening of the Institute for Law and Public Policy will prove to be invaluable in shaping the career paths of Farrell students for years to come. I look forward to doing my part to ensure this program is a huge success.”
David Carr '05
New York City Councilman
"I have worked to improve public policy for years, and it is a field that is always in need of young, creative minds that are focused on solving the most intractable problems facing our community and our country. I applaud my alma mater, Monsignor Farrell, for starting this institute to train its Faithful Men to meaningfully engage in the world of law and policy."
Nick Iacono '08
Nick was the Monsignor Farrell Class of 2008 valedictorian. He earned his B.A., magna cum laude, in Government from Georgetown University in 2012, and his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Georgetown University Law Center in 2022.
“Joining the legal profession can be a daunting challenge—especially for first-generation college students and those who don’t have lawyers in the family to guide them. The Institute can bridge that gap and empower Farrell students to lead successful careers in law and policy. That’s a win-win for students and for our community. Students gain the skills to excel in a highly-competitive field, and the community gains lawyers and leaders with the character and faith-focused foundation that Farrell provides. I can tell you firsthand that a program like this would’ve helped me immensely in my career, and I’m proud to support the Institute as a soon-to-be attorney and Farrell alumnus.”
Mike Atalla '15
Juris Doctor, Harvard Law School
“As someone who studied both policy and law, I can say, unequivocally, that the addition of this institute to Monsignor Farrell High School is a great one. Crafted by some of our brightest alumni, the Institute will give Farrell students a unique opportunity to get hands-on training and exposure to two fields of study so many of our alumni pursue. And they will get to do so well before their peers elsewhere.”