Madison and Shea Receive Wien Prize

The awards ceremony highlighted the need for public service in law, with a special focus on the plight of those suffering post–Hurricane Sandy

Winter 2012

Former Treasury Department General Counsel George Wheeler Madison ’80 and former New York State Supreme Court Justice Felice K. Shea ’50 were honored as the 2012 recipients of the Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility during a luncheon at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan this past autumn. The Wien Prize, named for the late Lawrence A. Wien ’27, is presented each year to alumni who have worked to enhance the public good. This year’s event was dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and, during his opening remarks, Dean David M. Schizer noted that the Law School donated food to City Harvest for those in need.

Professor Robert J. Jackson Jr., who previously worked for Madison, provided a warm introduction for the event’s first honoree. Madison took on the role of general counsel of the Treasury Department in 2009 and helped to draft and implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He also advised the solicitor general’s office on its defense of the Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Shea, who was introduced by her granddaughter Zoe Shea ’11, said that it was common in her day for female lawyers to move toward public interest, since law firms did not often hire women. However, Shea always intended to work in public service and began her career at The Legal Aid Society’s Harlem office. She went on to serve on the New York State Supreme Court bench for more than two decades and, after her retirement, returned to The Legal Aid Society as a volunteer.