McDonald and Murphy Share Law School Medal

Photograph: Arthur W. Murphy, left, and Kathryn A. McDonald. Photo Credit: Jon Roemer.

The Law School honored Judge Kathryn A. McDonald and Arthur W. Murphy, professor of law, with the Medal for Excellence at its 47th annual Winter Luncheon Jan. 26 at the Waldorf-Astoria. The medal, which is the Law School's highest honor, is presented by the Columbia Law School Association.

"I really should be giving Columbia Law School an award for admitting me as a middle aged woman, with no legal experience, but with an absolute obsession about helping underprivileged children," said McDonald, a 1963 graduate of the Law School. She recently retired as administrator of the New York City Family Court after a distinguished career as a public-interest lawyer, a zealous and effective advocate and a family-court judge who fought for the rights of children.

Murphy echoed her sentiments: "I'm absolutely delighted to receive this medal, especially because it's being awarded by an institution that has been such an important part of my life," he said.

A 1948 graduate of the Law School, Murphy anchored for decades the School's trusts-and-estates curriculum and had given thousands of students their first look at the law in the legal method course.

Previous winners of the Medal for Excellence, which is awarded to Columbia Law School alumni and faculty for their professional accomplishments, include Thomas E. Dewey '25 (1966), Justice William O. Douglas '25 (1973), Professor Louis Henkin (1982) and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '59 (1995).

Columbia University Record -- February 9, 1996 -- Vol. 21, No. 16