University of Pittsburgh
April 13, 2011

Pittsburgh Attorney Receives Pitt’s Dick Thornburgh Faculty Academic Support Grant

Joseph S. Hornack, attorney and partner at Healey and Hornack, P.C., is an adjunct professor in Pitt’s School of Law
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy has named Pitt law school adjunct professor Joseph S. Hornack, attorney and partner at the Pittsburgh law firm of Healey and Hornack, P.C., recipient of Pitt’s Dick Thornburgh Faculty Academic Support Grant. The award will support the steps necessary to set the foundation for Hornack to develop a seminar course to be offered at the School of Law during the 2012-13 academic year. 

The Thornburgh Faculty Academic Support Grant was created to expand the use of the extensive resources of the Dick Thornburgh Papers that are housed in the University’s Library System Archives Center. The award is designated for use in incorporating archival material into a new or existing course and to encourage student research in the collection and expand recognition of the primary source material’s value. 

This term, Hornack is teaching The Law of Disability Discrimination. His proposal is for a student who has completed this course to conduct research in a fall 2011 course titled Archive Research: Dick Thornburgh’s Commitment to Persons With Disabilities. The results of that research will assist Hornack in developing the new seminar course.  

The student research assistant’s project will include complete and thorough research of the archives—first online and then at the off-site location—of all entries related to Thornburgh’s work locally, nationally, and internationally on behalf of persons with disabilities. The final component of the project will be for the student to prepare a summary of findings for Hornack’s review. 

The planned new seminar will cover such issues as the origin of the principles underlying the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the political and legislative history of the ADA, and a comparative analysis of the ADA with both the laws of other nations as well as international law on the subject of the rights of persons with disabilities. As part of the course, Hornack intends to invite Thornburgh to participate in active classroom discussion. 

The Thornburgh archive ( is a rich source of information on major events and policies in Pennsylvania and the nation as a whole, as well as on international issues of law and public policy. It consists of 1007 cartons of documents from Thornburgh’s 25 years of public service as governor of Pennsylvania (1979-87), attorney general of the United States (1988-91), and under-secretary-general of the United Nations (1992-93), among other notable positions. For more information on the archive, contact collection curator Nancy Watson at 

The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy has a close association with an expanding array of schools throughout the University. It focuses on creating ethical and responsible civic dialogue and leadership, fostering a global commitment to the rule of law, building effective and responsible institutions of government, and examining disability law and rights.