Celebrating Alumni of Color
Columbia Law School Dean Gillian Lester and George W. Madison '80 Address Gathering of Lawyers, Judges, Scholars, and Leaders in the Legal Profession at Inaugural Event
More than 100 guests—including alumni of all ages and specialties, as well as faculty and friends—mingled, reminisced, and strategized about how to build greater opportunities for the next generation of lawyers. Noting that the legal profession remains the least diverse in the United States, Madison exhorted the distinguished attorneys, judges, scholars, and other leaders in attendance to help improve job recruitment, expand mentoring relationships, and unleash the potential of an underutilized talent pool.
“It is well past time to hold ourselves even more accountable to create and maintain equal opportunities in the legal profession and in our firms,” said Madison, a 2012 recipient of the Law School’s Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility. “Columbia Law alumni of color are on the bleeding edge of this challenge.”
During his time in government, Madison served as a senior policy adviser to then U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, helping oversee the implementation of the Dodd-Frank legislation—among other complex regulations—and earning the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor. Madison was the beneficiary of another honor, when in 2011 he was asked by Columbia Law School to deliver the Graduation keynote address.