William and Mary Law School

Chief Judge of the State of New York Receives Marshall-Wythe Medallion

Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the state of New York, received the 2005-06 Marshall-Wythe Medallion at a dinner and special ceremony in the College's historic Wren Building on April 10. The medallion, the highest honor given by faculty at the Law School, recognizes outstanding leaders from the bench, bar, and academia.

In his remarks prefacing presention of the medallion, Law School Dean Taylor Reveley referred to Judge Kaye as a classic "citizen lawyer." He outlined the trajetory of her remarkable career as the first woman associate - and later first woman partner - of one of Manhattan's leading law firms. In 1983 she became the first woman to be appointed to the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, and, in 1993, became the first woman to serve as that court's chief judge.

"This breaking of barrier after barrier," said Reveley, "reflects Judge Kaye's extradordinary qualities as a lawyer and human being."

Judge Kaye has written extensively about legal process, state constitutional law, women in law, professional ethics, and problem-solving courts. She has served as president of the Conference of Chief Justices, chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts, and has been a member or leader of numerous other boards, commissions, and committees. She has been recognized with numerous honors, including, for example, an honorary doctorate of law from Columbia University.

The Marshall-Wythe Medallion is named for John Marshall and George Wythe. Marshall was among the first law students at William & Mary and had a seminal impact on American history as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. George Wythe, one of the leading statesmen of the Revolutionay Era, was William & Mary's -- and the nation's -- first professor of law.