Verrilli & Janklow Receive Medal for Excellence

Fall 2013

  • Print this article

Literary agent Morton L. Janklow ’53 and U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. ’83 received the Columbia Law School Medal for Excellence, the Law School’s highest honor, at the 2013 Winter Luncheon. More than 300 graduates, faculty, and friends—including U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. ’76 and Judge Jack B. Weinstein ’48, both past recipients of the award—gathered at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City for the ceremony.

The Medal for Excellence is given annually to graduates and faculty members who embody the qualities of character, intellect, and professional responsibility that the Law School strives to instill in its students. David M. Schizer, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law; Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics, praised this year’s honorees for being powerful examples of the Law School’s influence on the world.

Janklow co-founded the literary agency Janklow & Nesbit Associates in 1977. He also endowed the Morton L. Janklow Chair in Literary and Artistic Property Law at Columbia Law School and founded the Morton L. Janklow Program for Advocacy in the Arts at Columbia University. Upon accepting his award, Janklow discussed how the Law School prepared him for his future career.

“I quickly learned the lessons of self-discipline and hard work, and the joy of achievement derived there from,” he said. “And I have never lost that sensibility, which has served me so well.”

Medal for Excellence co-honoree Donald Verrilli is the 46th Solicitor General of the United States. He serves as the federal government’s chief litigator. Before joining the Obama administration, Verrilli led the Supreme Court practice at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. His time at the Law School, he said, greatly influenced his career. “The most important thing Columbia Law School has given to me,” he noted, “was an enduring inspiration—the belief that I could live a life in the law that means something, and that I could be happy and fulfilled doing it.”

  • Print this article

Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. and Morton L. Janklow