|Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '59 and Dean David M. Schizer|
“Today we should celebrate not only what our Law School has achieved in the past 150 years, but what we will achieve in the next 150 years and beyond,” said Dean David M. Schizer in his welcome to the two hundred alumni, faculty, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger ’71 and current students gathered in the Court’s Great Hall.
Schizer recalled the defining roles that Columbia Law School professors and alumni have played in addressing important questions about the balance between national security and personal liberty; racial justice, federalism and separation of powers; and the role of public and private institutions in a global economy.
“There has been so much progress in 150 years – the world is more prosperous and free than anyone imagined it could be – but, at the same time, so many difficult problems are still with us,” Schizer said. “It is worth reflecting on how central our Law School has been in grappling with the great issues of our time.”
Dean Schizer noted the work of such giants as Francis Lieber, Constance Baker Motley ’46, Herbert Wechsler ’31, Walter Gelhorn ’31 and Justice Ginsburg.
Dean Schizer, who clerked for Justice Ginsburg in the 1994-1995 term, fondly recalled working with her at the Supreme Court.
“The justice sets a very special tone in chambers that combines intellectual rigor with personal warmth,” Schizer said. “It is a tone that I have tried to emulate with my students.”
The Supreme Court dinner is one of a series of worldwide events to mark Columbia Law School’s 150th anniversary. The Law School began the year with alumni receptions in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo and last week honored the six living former deans of Columbia Law School and alumnus H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest ’58 at its annual Winter Luncheon.
(Left to right) Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger '71, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '59 and Dean David M. Schizer with the Supreme Court Courtroom behind them. (Photo credit: Don Berkemeyer)
After 150 years, Columbia Law School remains at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law. The Law School offers J.D., J.S.D. and LL.M. degree programs to a diverse student body.