Judge Madeline Cox Arleo

The Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo '89 to Receive Seton Hall Law's Public Servant Award at Its 2018 Alumni Gala

Described as deeply committed and passionate by her family, friends, and colleagues, The Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo ’89 is this year’s Public Servant honoree. She will receive the award at the Seton Hall Law’s Annual Alumni Gala on May 11th.

Judge Arleo has always had a lively interest in the criminal justice system having come from a of law enforcement family. And there was “no question” she would attend Seton Hall Law when she graduated from college. What she found surprising was that she “had more fun in law school than I did in college,” thanks to the great group of friends whose comradery continues today. “It shaped my experience in the law -- from first becoming an attorney to now serving in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. I’m proud to say I’m a Seton Hall Lawyer.”  Fittingly, one of those continuing friendships is with fellow 2018 Alumni Gala honoree, Thomas P. Scrivo ’89.

When Judge Arleo is asked what she enjoys most about her profession, her answer is quick. “We have the power to ensure justice,” she says. “The law is a tool to improve and transform the lives of others, a tool that is reserved for lawyers.” A recent example of Judge Arleo working to make a difference in people’s lives is her involvement in establishing the District of New Jersey’s first “reentry court.”

Judge Arleo views the Public Servant Award as “a reminder that public service is collective, and so much of the work we do intersects.” She went on: “From Judge Hammer and Judge Vazquez to magistrate judges, federal court colleagues, those who have helped coordinate reentry efforts, and public defense attorneys – we are all family, many of whom are Seton Hall Law alumni, who work tirelessly for the public good.”

In 2014, Judge Arleo became a United States District Judge after being nominated by President Barack Obama.  “That day changed everything I felt about my career,” she stated. “It was a culmination of all the work that came before it. It was reflective and joyous, and I realized the responsibility I had been given and the trust bestowed on me to do this job.”

While the profession of law can be difficult and frustrating, Judge Arleo advises, “never be discouraged. It is rewarding. You can find your passion in this profession and be rewarded with immense satisfaction.”