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Fortes Recognized as John J. Meehan Alumni Fellow

May 10, 2012

R. Manuel Fortes BA ’82, JD ’85, was awarded the 2011–2012 John J. Meehan Alumni Fellowship at a reception in April.

From left to right, Michael Fortes 2L, Dean Jeffrey Brand, and 2011–2012 John J. Meehan Alumni Fellow R. Manuel Fortes BA ’82, JD ’85.

The fellowship program, named after former Alameda County District Attorney John J. Meehan BS ’54, JD ’59, was established in 1998 to recognize a distinguished USF law alumnus who is committed to mentoring future lawyers.

Fortes, a trial attorney at the City and County of San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints, has mentored advised, and tutored USF law students for more than 25 years.

“He started out as a second-year law student…mentoring and counseling people in the first year of law school, and he’s continued doing that ever since,” said Meehan, who spoke at the reception along with Co-Director of the Academic Support Program Carol Wilson, R. Manuel Fortes’ son Michael Fortes, a second-year student at the law school, and others. “He’s come to every event—he tutors, he mentors, he does all kind of things. Something that is unbelievable to me that he finds all the time to do all of this and does it well.”

As part of his broad service to the law school, R. Manuel Fortes is a member of the Board of Governors. He has volunteered as a Moot Court judge and at the Advocate of the Year competition for many years, and he regularly attends alumni, admissions, and career planning events. Fortes has coordinated student discussions on the law, assisted students academically, invited students to his office to show them the law in practice, and helped organize an annual dinner for new students welcoming them to the law school. 

“Anytime I see a law student, from USF in particular, it just gives me so much life. I’m so thrilled that we are training the best and brightest to go out there and practice law. It’s really important to me,” Fortes said.

Fortes also helps students and recent graduates with their job searches, and mentors new and practicing attorneys by providing client-relations, case strategy, career change, and life-balance advice. This semester alone, he has met with more than a dozen students to review resumes and prepare for job interviews.

“Not only are you everything that our students should strive to be but you are everything our alumni and particularly our recent graduates could hope for,” Dean Jeffrey Brand said.