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Rutgers Student Awarded Daniel Curtin Fellowship From the American Planning Association

November 11, 2008 – 
Philip A. Abramson, a member of the Class of 2011 at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, has been awarded a Daniel J. Curtin, Jr. Fellowship by the Planning and Law Division of the American Planning Association (APA). Abramson is the first New Jerseyan and the first Rutgers student to receive the prestigious fellowship, which is given to only two people each year. The late Daniel J. Curtin was a well-known author and legal expert on planning law, land use regulations, and the California General Plan.

“Land use and planning decisions are of critical importance to cities and suburbs across the country,” said Dean Stuart L. Deutsch. “Phil Abramson has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to learning the fundamental issues needed to make the right decisions. We are very proud that APA has named Phil a Curtin Fellow, and certain that his perspective as a resident of the nation’s most densely populated state will further understanding of land use, planning and their interrelationship with the law.” 

Abramson has always wanted to practice law and assumed that his career would be in criminal law. His interest in the juncture of law and planning was stoked as an Honors College student at Rutgers-Newark, where he studied criminal justice. He finished his thesis on the 1967 race riots in Newark with, he recalls, the realization that the riots “were not an instance of mass criminality, as I had first thought, but rather an episode in failed planning and civic leadership.” That insight led to his postponing law school so he could pursue a master of city and regional planning at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. After receiving his degree, he worked as a land use paralegal with Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. before entering law school.

At Rutgers, Abramson is the recipient of the 2008-09 David Haber Scholarship for Environmental Law. While attending law school as an evening student, Abramson works as a staff land use planner at Pennoni Associates, Inc., a consulting engineering firm.