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Professor Robert Holmes, Director of Community Law Clinic, Honored for Civic and Community Leadership

April 04, 2011 – 
Robert Holmes, Clinical Professor of Law, Deputy Director of Clinical Programs, and Director of the Community Law Clinic at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, has been recognized as a “Living Legend” for his tireless and unselfish sacrifice to public service. The announcement also noted his important role in the history of New Jersey, particularly his contribution to New Jersey’s rich Black history.

The honor was conferred by the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Garden State Bar Association and the Essex County College – Student Life and Activities and Paralegal Studies and Criminal Justice Program. Also honored at the “Salute to Living Legends” on March 23, 2011 were U.S. Congressman Donald M. Payne; State Senator Ronald L. Rice, Sr.; State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver; James Harris, president of the New Jersey NAACP; Gus Henningburg, long-time Newark civic and community leader; and Karol Corbin Walker, shareholder at LeClairRyan.

Professor Holmes joined Rutgers in 1997 as founding director of the Community Law Clinic, which provides corporate-transactional-intellectual property attorney services to inner-city small businesses, non-profits, charter schools, and community development corporations. He has had extensive experience in private practice and public service. After receiving his J.D. from Harvard Law School, he joined the Newark Housing Development and Rehabilitation Corporation as executive director. He later served as assistant commissioner and acting commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and as chief executive of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation. In 1987 he became a partner with Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A., where he practiced corporate transactions, real estate and development, sports and entertainment law, and municipal law. In 1995 he became of counsel to Medvin & Elberg.

Professor Holmes is a board member of the Public Interest Law Center of New Jersey, board member and secretary of Legal Services of New Jersey, a board member of Minority Athletes Networking, and a member of the board of trustees of the Victoria Foundation. He is a former member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Disciplinary Review Board and former president of the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute. In 2007 Holmes received the Oliver Randolph Award from the Garden State Bar Association. The award celebrates the legacy of civil rights advocate Oliver Randolph, who in 1914 became the first African American admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey.