Remembering Jack McNeill

jack (1)The Law Library staff mourns the loss of its long-time Associate Director, Jack McNeill.  Jack died on Monday, January 18 after a courageous fight against cancer.  Jack came to Pace Law School in July 2000, and initially served as the Head of Reference Services.  Two years later, he was promoted to Associate Director, the position from which he retired in December 2015.

Jack’s fingerprints are all over the Pace Law Library.  He played a major role during the renovation project of 2006-2007, helping to develop a plan to reconfigure the physical plant and reorganize the collection.  Jack’s mother was a gifted painter, and I think Jack must have inherited some of her talent; he was able to visualize space in a way that eluded others.  Jack is responsible for the archival collections that are now housed in the Pace Law Library.  He secured a grant to develop the Sive Environmental Litigation Archives, and also created the Pace Law School Archives because he believed that the public record of the School should be preserved for the future.  Jack was responsible for the signage that accompanies the art work around the Library; it is both entertaining and educational, thanks to Jack’s tenacity in tracking down information about each piece.

Everyone who knew Jack will attest to his sweet, gentle nature, his patience, and his kindness.  In every sense of the word, he was a gentleman.  When Jack received his diagnosis, he was devastated, but his deep religious faith sustained him throughout his ordeal.  I never heard him complain about his bad luck; instead, he learned all he could about his condition and set about seeking treatment.  No matter how bad things got, he would smile and say, “Not to worry.  It’s all good.”  His courage was an inspiration.

Jack was a native of Long Island, and received a B.A. from New York University, a J.D. from New York Law School, and an M.L.S. from the University of South Tampa.  Before coming to Pace, he worked at several academic law libraries, including St. Thomas University, Florida Atlantic University, and New York University.  He also engaged in the private practice of law for ten years.  Jack was professionally active.  He served as Chair of the Academic Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries in 2010-2011, and as president of the South Florida Association of Law Libraries in 1995-1996.  Jack made friends wherever he worked, and whenever I attended a conference, someone was sure to ask me about Jack and want to be remembered to him.

Jack enjoyed working with our students and faculty, and taught legal research in the first-year Legal Skills Program.  He served as a liaison to the Environmental Law Program, and wrote a blog that covered environmental law and related subject areas.  His primary concern was always to serve the students and the Law School.   Jack made a lasting and unique impact on the Pace Law Library, and he will be missed.


  1. So very sorry to hear about the loss of Jack McNeill. He will be sorely missed by everyone, especially the students. He was always so helpful and thoughtful. His contributions to the Pace Law Library and to the individual research capabilities of the Library’s students and alumni were significant and long-lasting. Most important of all, he was indeed a true gentleman – always gracious, caring and kind. He set a sterling example for all of us in this regard. Heartfelt condolences to his beloved family.

  2. Those of us who worked with Jack had the privilege of knowing and appreciating a man of great kindness, wisdom, and decency. He loved his job at Pace, and he was great friend to all of us. I met with him many times when he was dealing with the extraordinary suffering and hardships caused by his illness. He endured this suffering with patience and courage. I never heard a word of anger or resentment cross his lips. He was sustained throughout by his deep religious faith.
    Jack is gone from us now, but he has left us with the priceless gift of all the memories we have of this wonderful man and the model he set for all of us.

  3. I am saddened by this news. I appreciated opportunities at conferences to catch up with Jack. It was a pleasure to work with him at St. Thomas University. He will be missed.

  4. The greatest guy, funny, smart, gentle, kind, loyal. The best model of a brother ever. He lived by the rule “Love One Another” and he really lived it. I am his sister and I will miss him forever.

  5. I just want to say here (A more in depth thank you card will be sent)
    That the tribute Jack McNeill received from his friends at pace law library was incredibly touching and beautiful. It brought tears to the eyes of those who read it. Everyone who attended the funeral and saw the board with the written tributes and photos of Jack among his library friends impressed everyone. It was beautifully written too. Thank you so much.

  6. And thank you for posting this online tribute. Lovely touch. And I love the comments written also. Lovely!!!

  7. You are very welcome. Jack touched many lives here at Pace Law School, and he will be remembered fondly for a long time to come.

  8. You will be missed Jack. I will always remember those good times we had ever so long ago. Rest in Peace my friend.

  9. I will always be grateful for all the help and moral support Jack provided during my studies at Pace Law School. May he rest in peace.

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