Cardozo, Michelson Awarded Wien Prize by CLS
Annual Prize Honors Lawyers Who Work for Public Good
James O’Neill 212-854-1584 Cell: 646-596-2935
November 5, 2007 (NEW YORK) – Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, and Gertrude G. Michelson, former senior adviser to R.H. Macy & Co., have been awarded this year’s Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility by Columbia Law School.
The award was presented today by Columbia Law School Dean David M. Schizer.
Cardozo, a 1966 Columbia Law School graduate, helped pioneer the field of sports law while a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP, which he joined in 1967. He led the firm’s 150-person litigation team and represented the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League and helped usher them through explosive growth.
He stepped in as New York City’s corporation counsel after September 11, 2001, and has spearheaded the city’s legal response in major cases and in drafting major legislation, including that which gave New York City the right to impose its historic smoking ban and the Mayor’s control over the city’s school system. During his tenure, the city has initiated major litigation against illegal gun dealers, and a suit against the IRS which settled for $280 million.
``I am both honored and humbled to receive this award. Having served as the city's corporation counsel for the past few years, I've learned that public service attorneys are engaged in one of the noblest of professions,’’ Cardozo said.
Michelson, a 1947 Columbia Law School graduate, has been a distinguished New York business and community leader. She was labor relations manager and senior vice president for personnel, labor and consumer relations at R.H. Macy. After retiring in 1992, she continued as an adviser and member of the board until 1995.
She has served on boards and committees for the Rand Corporation, the Markle Foundation, the Helena Rubenstein Foundation, TIAA-CREF, the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the United Way of Tri-State. She is also a life trustee of Spelman College. She served on Columbia University’s trustee board from 1980 to 1992, and was elected chair in 1989, the first woman to lead the overseers of an Ivy League institution. She currently sits on the Columbia Law School Board of Visitors.
The Wien Prize honors individual attorneys who, like Lawrence Wien, a Columbia Law School graduate of 1927, put their resources and legal skills to work for the public good. The recipients serve as positive role models for both the profession and for law students.
Lawrence A. Wien, a New York lawyer and real estate investor, enjoyed a career of imaginative professional leadership and creative philanthropy. The founder and senior partner for 60 years of Wien & Malkin, he served as chairman of the board of trustees of Brandeis University and as president and chairman of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, and vice chairman of the Institute of International Education, WNET/Channel 13, the UN Association of the USA, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
He was also an alumni trustee of Columbia University and was a mayoral appointee to the New York City commission against poverty. He is widely regarded as the pioneer who made possible investment by individuals in real estate through the first public real estate syndication. His holdings included the Empire State Building.
The prize, established in 1982, is bestowed annually with the participation of the Wien family. This is the 25th annual award.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands 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.