Fordham Law School announced today that New York State Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood is the 2019 recipient of the Fordham-Stein Prize. The Fordham-Stein Prize is awarded annually to a member of the legal profession whose work embodies the highest standards of their legal profession. Prize recipients exemplify outstanding professional conduct, promote the advancement of justice, and bring credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public’s mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government.
From its inception, the winners of the Prize have been men and women with distinguished careers who reflect a profound commitment to the public good. Past winners include nine Supreme Court Justices; four former United States Attorneys General; three former Secretaries of State; and leaders of the bench and bar.
Underwood has served as New York’s solicitor general since 2007, with the exception of May – December of 2018, when she served as New York attorney general – (the first woman to ever do so). Throughout a distinguished and illustrious legal career, Underwood has served in numerous high-level legal positions at the local, state and federal levels. Prior to her tenure as solicitor general, Underwood served as principal deputy solicitor general of the United States, and was the first woman to be appointed as acting solicitor general. She was previously chief of appeals and counsel to the Brooklyn district attorney and senior executive assistant for legal affairs for the Queens district attorney, as well as chief assistant and counsel to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. A seasoned appellate litigator, Underwood has argued 21 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Underwood will be honored and will receive the award at a dinner and reception on October 24.