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Clinical Professor Penny Venetis to Receive Alumni Award from Boston College Law School

April 15, 2008 – 

Penny Venetis, Clinical Professor of Law at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, and her students in the Constitutional Litigation Clinic established new precedent in international human rights law in a case termed “a tribute to our profession” by the New Jersey Law Journal (Dec. 24, 2007). As co-director of the clinic, Venetis also has led significant litigation that has won important protections for New Jersey voters against unreliable electronic voting machines and that has established the constitutional right of non-residents to use municipal parks. On April 28, Boston College Law School will recognize her accomplishments when it presents Venetis with the 2008 Alumni Award of Excellence in Public Service. Venetis received her J.D. cum laude from the school in 1989.

“Penny Venetis is a tenacious advocate and outstanding teacher,” said Dean Stuart L. Deutsch. “We are delighted that Boston College Law School has recognized the many civil rights and international human rights advances achieved by the Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic through her efforts.”

Prior to joining Rutgers-Newark in 1994, Venetis clerked for Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. She also practiced law with the firm O’Melveny & Myers in New York for four years. While there, she worked on complex commercial litigation as well as human rights projects. Among those projects was assisting the UN Special Rapporteur investigating war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. She also investigated human rights abuses in the implementation of Peru’s anti-terrorism laws. Her work at Rutgers focuses on civil rights and on the interplay between international human rights law and U.S. constitutional law.

In addition to a J.D. from Boston College, Venetis holds a B.A. from Barnard and an M.A. from Columbia.