Columbia Law School Federalist Society Honored

Organization Takes Home 'James Madison Chapter of the Year' Award at 2015 National Student Symposium

New York, March 16, 2015—The Columbia Law School chapter of the Federalist Society took home the “James Madison Chapter of the Year” award at the 2015 National Student Symposium held at the University of Chicago Law School on Feb. 20 and Feb. 21.

The James Madison award recognizes chapters that demonstrate excellence in organizing debates and speeches on a wide variety of topics, enriching the intellectual diversity of a law school’s community.
By the end of the 2014-2015 academic year, the Columbia Law School Federalist Society will have hosted more than 40 events. The chapter invites prominent academics and practitioners from across the country to speak on their latest scholarship and the most pressing public policy issues of the day.  Highlights so far include a talk by New York University School of Law Professor Richard Epstein on his latest book, The Classical Liberal Constitution, and a discussion of the ongoing conflict with ISIS featuring Vanderbilt Law School Professor Michael Newton. As many Federalist Society events do, these discussions featured a member of the Columbia Law School faculty—Professors Jamal Greene and Lori Fisler Damrosch, respectively.
It has also been a strong year for the chapter’s annual Madison Lecture Series for Judicial Engagement, which has drawn prominent jurists including Judge Thomas Griffith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge Raymond Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, and Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York.
More than 500 students attended this year’s national symposium, and the Columbia Law School Federalist Society was one of 11 finalists selected from 200 chapters across the country. Columbia Law School has the only chapter to have won the James Madison award twice since it was created four years ago. The chapter also won the award in its inaugural year.
“This award would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our chapter’s board, a group of men and women who are committed to promoting open debate and intellectual diversity here at Columbia Law School,” said chapter president Browning VanMeter ’15. “We are also appreciative of the support we receive from the Columbia Law School faculty, administration, and community at large.”
The theme of this year’s symposium was “Law and Innovation.” The event featured panel discussions with participants including Colin Stretch, the general counsel of Facebook, and Candice Taylor, associate litigation counsel at Lyft.
The Columbia Law School delegation at the 2015 Federalist Society National Student Symposium:
front row (left to right): David C. McDonald '16, Alyss Vavricka, Renuka Agarwal, Katherine E. Hamm '16;
standing: Kory J. Hines '17, Richard S. Cleary '15, John B. Goerlich '16, Browning VanMeter '15
(holding the James Madison Chapter of the Year Award), Alexander N. Gross '16,
Shiva H. Logarajah '17, and Jacob G. Lewis '17.