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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

Ellen Santos ’14 Prizes Wide-ranging Experiences of HNBA-Prudential Fellowship

A law-related undergraduate class at Rutgers University taught by a passionate civil rights attorney prompted Ellen Santos ’14 to attend law school “to gain the tools necessary to advocate on behalf of others who cannot adequately represent themselves.” At Rutgers School of Law–Newark, Santos’s Business Associations class with Professor Doug Eakeley and his career guidance stoked a growing interest in corporate work. As a student in the Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic, with its focus on corporate and transactional legal services, Santos became even more certain of her preference for transactional work over litigation. That interest in business law along with strong academic credentials and project management skills won her the 2014 HNBA-Prudential Law Fellowship. Santos’s first two years are at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, where partner Miguel Pozo ’98 has been a particularly inspiring role model and mentor. The third year of the fellowship will provide an opportunity to work in Prudential’s Law Department – two valuable experiences for a new lawyer looking forward to transactional practice. | Read Story

Interning for Justice Albin Promises to Be a Rewarding Summer for Three 1Ls

With a New Jersey Supreme Court internship in hand for the summer, Nicholas Mazza, Robert Papazian and Peter Urmston are predictably excited about the academic, professional, and personal growth that the experience will provide. The fact that they will be working together for the same justice – the Honorable Barry T. Albin – adds a special dimension to the internship and their first-year experience at Rutgers School of Law–Newark. Mazza, Papazian and Urmston entered Rutgers Law for different reasons and their perspectives reflect an understanding of the diverse ways in which an internship on the State’s top court rewards law students. In anticipation of their summer working together, they have been spending time getting to know each other a little better. While it may be too early to know what they want to do after graduation, the three clearly recognize that law school really can be the foundation of a great legal career in terms of the relationships they build, not just the academics they achieve. March/April 2015 | Read Story

Gwyneth O’Neill ’14: Prettyman Fellowship Will Enhance Advocacy and Teaching Skills

As a high school teacher in her native New Orleans, Gwyneth O’Neill ’14 realized that she wanted to do more for her students – many of whom were disadvantaged and buffeted by the decisions of various bureaucracies – than 90-minute social studies lessons could deliver. “As trite as it sounds, I wanted to make a real difference.” That meant learning how the law worked, which brought her to Rutgers School of Law–Newark where she took every opportunity to gain both doctrinal understanding of and clinical experience in issues of constitutional rights and criminal law. O’Neill, currently serving a federal clerkship in Louisiana, is clear about her professional goal: “to build a career around ensuring that the criminal justice system is administered fairly and equitably.” This summer she will take a major step toward that goal when she enrolls at Georgetown Law as a Prettyman Fellow, the nation’s most prestigious fellowship for anyone interested in criminal trial practice or clinical education focused on criminal justice. February/March 2015 | 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 continues to lead the mentorship program she began last year. December 2014/January 2015 | 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