About the
School
Admissions &
Financial Aid
AcademicsFacultyClinicsPublic
Service
StudentsCareer
Development
News & EventsAlumni
& Giving
Make a Gift

Home

JFarmerforSpotlight.jpg

John J. Farmer, Jr. Named Dean of the Law School

A widely admired former public official and attorney with outstanding legal and administrative accomplishments, John J. Farmer, Jr. has had a prominent career in government service at the state and national level and in private practice. Notable positions include Senior Counsel and Team Leader of the 9/11 Commission, Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, and Chief Counsel to former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. Upon graduation from Georgetown University Law Center, he clerked for Justice Alan B. Handler (Ret.) of the New Jersey Supreme Court and later served as an assistant U.S. attorney. Currently in private practice handling matters ranging from white collar criminal defense to governmental and regulatory affairs, Farmer has also served as Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security. “John Farmer is known throughout the legal community for his integrity, his intelligence, his determined yet collegial management of difficult issues, and his steadfast commitment to the rule of law,” commented Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz (Ret.). April 2009 | Read Story

Anna Maria Tejada ’99: Drawn to Employment Law and Empowering Young People

Strive. Excel. Network. Give back. Those verbs used by Anna Maria Tejada ’99 in her advice for current Rutgers School of Law–Newark students reveal as much about the work ethic behind her achievements and the success of her immigrant parents in their pursuit of the American Dream as they do her penchant for mentoring. A partner in Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck, LLC and director of its New Jersey Labor and Employment Group, Tejada credits the Clinical Program with beginning her education in working with clients and arguing in court. As a student, she also led the launch of Fiesta con Sabor, now a major fundraising and networking event for ALALS, and had her note published, one of the first two by a student, in the Rutgers Race and the Law Review. An appellate clerkship with the Hon. John E. Wallace, Jr. followed by an Equal Justice Fellowship yielded invaluable personal and professional benefits. As immediate past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, Tejada will continue to lead the mentorship program she began last year. | Read Story

Mary Beth Hogan, Hon. Esther Salas and Amy Gottlieb Honored at Alumni Association Dinner

Three women whose talent and drive have taken them to positions of prominence on the bench, with the private bar, and in the public interest sector were honored by the Rutgers School of Law–Newark Alumni Association at its annual dinner. Mary Beth Hogan ’90 (left) is senior co-chair of litigation at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. The Honorable Esther Salas ’94 (right) is a judge of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey. Amy Gottlieb ’96 is associate regional director, northeast region, American Friends Service Committee. In remarks upon accepting their awards, each woman spoke of the distinctive education and experience that characterize a Rutgers–Newark Law education. It is that culture of excellence and service that the Alumni Association also celebrated in presenting the Alumni Association Dinner Scholarship to Wan Cha and the Fannie Bear Besser Scholarship for Public Service to Shashwat Dave, both of the Class of 2015. November/December 2014 | Read Story

Omar Bareentto ’16: Driven to Succeed by the Refugee Narrative of His Family

Born into a family forced by the Ethiopian Red Terror to flee their home country, Omar Bareentto grew up hearing stories about refugee camps, tortured political prisoners and village raids. The refugee narrative has shaped his values and made him strive for excellence in all aspects of life. He pursued an interest in public policy at Syracuse University and, during a semester in Istanbul, learned first-hand how critical it is for an outsider to adapt to his surroundings. The Minority Student Program, with its history of opening doors to the disadvantaged, and the growing economic and cultural vitality of Newark brought him to Rutgers School of Law–Newark. Bareentto is determined to use his J.D. to help rid the world of the ignorance and hate that contribute to the kinds of ethnic conflicts that targeted his family. “I feel as though their story is my story,” he says, “and I am connected to their trials and tribulations and, in keeping with that, my future success is also by proxy their success.” November 2014 | Read Story

Rachel Moody ’15: Dual Degree Program and Varied Internships Boost Career Readiness

An undergraduate internship experience with the San Francisco Planning Department showed Rachel Moody that a legal education can have broad application and provide an advantage in various work environments. That insight brought her back to New Jersey – whose fast-paced way of life she missed after seven years in California – to pursue a dual degree program at Rutgers School of Law–Newark and Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. The two-degree commitment was an advantage when applying for legal internships, says Moody, and the law curriculum has added depth to her understanding of public policy issues. Moody prizes her five internships, the most recent of which was with the U.S. Department of Justice, for teaching her about the practice of law from varied perspectives and introducing her to a network of dedicated attorneys. In the final year of the four-year program, Moody says that the two degrees fit perfectly into her career goals: “government service, leadership roles, and broad understanding of planning and policy processes.” October 2014 | Read Story

Students Salute a Summer of Substantive and Rewarding Legal Work

Summer jobs for Rutgers School of Law–Newark students take as many different forms as there are legal practice areas. Students explore new areas of the law and reinforce classroom lessons in positions with the federal, state and local judiciary, private law firms, corporations, government offices, NGOs, and public interest organizations in the metropolitan area and across the country. As a law clerk at Fried Frank, Malika Brown ’15 (shown here) was able to test drive “my dream job” to which she’ll be returning after graduation. Caitlin Miller ’16 found the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights a perfect match for her passion to fight for the underserved. At Lowenstein Sandler Wan Cha ’15 appreciated the diverse assignments and commitment to attorney development. The dedication to representing children that Shashwat Dave ’15 experienced at LAS’s Juvenile Rights Program boosted his determination to practice in that area. What was most rewarding to Linda Lee ’15 were the diverse and substantive assignments and supportive and collegial environment that Bressler afforded. For Tiffany Ornedo ’15, an internship at ACLU-NJ solidified her desire to become a public interest lawyer. August/September 2014 | Read Story

Former Dancer Erica Nelson ’07 Leads Effort to Reduce Racial Inequity in Dane County, WI

Dance classes since early childhood. Her first decade lived in rural Wisconsin. Parents whose careers centered around efforts to improve the lives of disadvantaged families and children. Much of her youth spent on the East Coast. For Erica Nelson ’07, it was a natural decision to move to New York City after graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in order to pursue her passion for modern dance. But a legal career was always in the back of her mind and, after six years as a professional dancer, Nelson enrolled at Rutgers School of Law–Newark for its clinics, public service opportunities, diversity, and proximity to the life she had created in Brooklyn. An interest in open space preservation and environmental justice issues drew her to environmental law but a summer internship at Lawyers for Children brought a special fulfillment. Three years after receiving her J.D. and working as a public interest lawyer, Nelson and her husband decided to return to Madison where, as project director of Race for Equity, she is helping to lead an important conversation about racial disparities. August 2014 | Read Story

Mariel Mercado-Guevara ’15 Has Immersion in IP Law, Thanks to HNBA/Microsoft Scholarship

Going to law school was something that Mariel Mercado-Guevara ’15 always knew she would do “one day.” That’s largely due to the example of her father who, after retiring from the U.S. Army, became a Hispanic consumer advisor to the Governor of Maryland. “My late father’s experience showed me how education can empower communities to be a part of the political process and create a more vibrant, knowledgeable, and cohesive community.” But first Mercado-Guevara pursued two degrees in music, performed around the country as a professional opera singer, worked as a realtor and as a community organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, married and had two children, and took a job with a boutique intellectual property law firm to determine whether law school was right for her. She loved the job and a senior attorney’s question, “Have you ever thought about law school?” sealed her decision. At Rutgers School of Law–Newark, where she is a rising 4LE, Mercado-Guevara has, not surprisingly, found herself drawn to IP law. In early June, she participated in the highly-selective Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)/Microsoft IP Law Institute in Washington, DC. July/August 2014 | Read Story

Alexander Hernandez ’14: JAG Corps Is Opportunity to Serve and to Help

Count yourself lucky to have been born in America, truly a land of opportunity. That oft-repeated declaration by his grandparents was what sparked an interest for Alexander E. Hernandez ’14 in joining the military. Growing up, he came to see the chance both to receive a college degree and serve his country. As a member of the Army ROTC at Fordham University, Hernandez grew more certain that he wanted a career in the military but also became interested in the advocacy that a law degree would enable him to do. He decided to apply for an educational delay from the Army and enrolled at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, where be was a co-founder of the Rutgers Veterans Pro Bono Project. The project is modeled after a program started by William S. Greenberg ’67, now a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, when he was at McCarter & English. Hernandez has been accepted into the highly-selective Judge Advocate General’s Corps and in a few months will eagerly report to Fort Benning, Georgia to begin training as a JAG Corps officer. May/June 2014 | Read Story

Rinat Shangeeta ’15: National Recognition for IP Law, Mentoring Commitments

Passionate about both mentoring and intellectual property law, Rinat Shangeeta ’15 has found ways at Rutgers School of Law–Newark to experience the rewards of both – and in so doing, has won national and state recognition. As president of the Intellectual Property Law Society, she developed and launched a Mentoring Program that paired IP law students with volunteer mentors recruited from law firms and top entertainment industry companies. In March her commitment and dedication to the law school and the practice of law were recognized by the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association. The same month she was selected as the winner of the 2014 Mark T. Banner Scholarship, a national award given to one aspiring IP lawyer each year by the Richard Linn American Inn of Court. It’s the kind of recognition that would not have seemed possible to the 17-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh who felt lost in her small-town Virginia high school. An ESL teacher, her first mentor, helped Shangeeta find a talent for math that would lead to a successful career in engineering and an interest in patent law. April/May 2019 | Read Story