Albert J. Rosenthal

Maurice T. Moore Professor Emeritus of Law; Dean Emeritus, Faculty of Law


Dean of Columbia Law School from 1979 to 1984, and an indispensable member of our community, Albert J. Rosenthal passed away on March 17, 2010. He will be missed.

B.A., Pennsylvania, 1938; LL.B., Harvard, 1941. President, Harvard Law Review. Law clerk to Judge Magruder of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, 1941–42, and to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1947–48.

After work in government and eleven years of private practice, joined the Columbia faculty in 1964. For one year, director of the Catastrophic Accident Project of the Legislative Drafting Research Fund.

From 1966 to 1976, consultant to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund on employment discrimination cases.

Co-director (with Frank Grad) of a project of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on the federal role in environmental protection and, from 1971 to 1974, of an interdisciplinary study of the environmental effects of the automobile.

Member, environmental study groups on Jamaica Bay and Kennedy Airport (National Academy of Sciences, 1970); Logan International Airport (Massachusetts Port Authority, 1975); EPA Decision Making (Commission on Natural Resources, 1975–76). Hearing officer, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 1975 and 1977. Member, Environmental Studies Board, National Academy of Sciences, 1979–81.

Dean, Columbia University Faculty of Law, 1979–84. Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 1987 to 1997, commissioner of the New York State Law Revision Commission.

Member of teaching or consulting missions on constitutionalism and human rights in South Africa, Indonesia, Uganda, and Mozambique, 1989–91. Special master, U.S. v. City of New York, U.S. District Court, E.D.N.Y. (ocean dumping of sewage sludge), 1990–present. Distinguished professor of law, St. John’s University School of Law.

Has published in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, commercial transactions, environmental law, and employment discrimination.