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U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas ’94 Is Honoree at Minority Student Program Banquet & Tribute to Alumni Judges

March 13, 2012 – 

On Thursday, April 12, 2012, Rutgers School of Law–Newark will celebrate the 44th anniversary of its Minority Student Program (MSP) at a banquet at Nanina’s in the Park, Belleville. The banquet will honor keynote speaker Hon. Esther Salas ’94, Judge of the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, and pay tribute to all the members of the bench who have participated in the MSP.

The reception will begin at 6:30 pm and the dinner at 7:30 pm. Register for the banquet and submit payment online by Monday, April 2, at http://law.newark.rutgers.edu/MSPbanquet

Judge Salas received her B.A. in 1991 from Rutgers College, where she was a political science major with a double minor in philosophy and Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies. After receiving her J.D., she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Eugene J. Codey, Jr. of Essex County Superior Court. From 1995 to 1997, Judge Salas was an associate at Garces & Grabler, P.C., where she focused her practice primarily on criminal matters and handled appellate work. She served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender from 1997 until 2006 when she was selected from among 99 applicants as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey, becoming the first Latina in that position. She was confirmed as a Judge of the U.S. District Court on June 14, 2011, becoming the first Latina on the District Court of New Jersey.

The Minority Student Program is a nationally recognized model for educating and preparing students of color and disadvantaged students of all races for a legal career. In recognizing the value of different backgrounds in the classroom and different perspectives in the workplace, the MSP was a pioneer in promoting representation of all segments of society in law school and the legal and business worlds. Almost 3,000 MSP students have graduated from the law school since the program’s inception, changing the face of the legal profession. MSP alumni can be found on the bench, in the U.S. Congress, in private practice, major corporations, government agencies, legislative bodies, public interest organizations, and academic institutions across the country.