Pace Law School mourns the passing of Professor Ralph M. Stein. A founding member of our faculty, Professor Stein died on October 16 of complications from diabetes. Funeral arrangements are pending.
A constitutional law teacher, Professor Stein taught courses on the First Amendment as well as Remedies and legal history. His seminars included “Slavery, the Constitution, and the Civil War” and “National Security Law and the Challenge of Terrorism.” Devoted to the protection of civil liberties, Professor Stein served on the legal committee of the Anti-Defamation League, and sat on the board of directors of the Lower Hudson Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
“He loved the students more than anything. He would do anything for his students,” recalled Professor Bennett Gershman, who had worked with Professor Stein since 1976, the year Pace Law School first opened its doors. “Ralph was a huge presence at the law school.”
Professor Stein was instrumental in the growth of Pace Law School. Professor Jay Carlisle recalled meeting Professor Stein in February 1977 and how Professor Stein spoke so highly of Pace Law School students during his recruitment of new faculty.
“I was so impressed with him. It did have a bearing on my coming here,” Professor Carlisle recalls.
Professor Stein impressed his colleagues in many ways. Upon hearing of his passing, faculty members recalled his passion for live music, his affinity for collecting books and CDs, the walking tours he would lead through New York City, and his dinners with friends.
“Ralph was one of the most energetic, dedicated, and– in some ways– opinionated man I’ve ever known,” said Professor Merrill Sobie. “He loved teaching. He wouldn’t dream of teaching a normal course load.”
Professor Stein’s abundant energy fueled his kindness, as well. Professor James Fishman recalled a shared love of books that found expression each year at holiday time when the two would exchange books they had chosen for one another. When Professor Stein had taken ill, Professor Fishman remembers that his colleague did not allow his confinement to disrupt their tradition. He arranged for a book to be delivered to Professor Fishman’s office at Pace.
Before beginning his teaching career, Professor Stein spent time at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom. He held degrees from the New School for Social Research and Hofstra University School of Law.