The Hon. Deborah Poritz, Retired Chief Justice of NJ Supreme Court, Appointed Visiting Jurist Emerita-in-Residence
The Hon. Deborah T. Poritz, who in 2006 retired as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey after 10 years in the position, has been appointed to a three-year tenure as Visiting Jurist Emerita-in-Residence at Rutgers School of Law–Newark and Rutgers School of Law–Camden. Beginning with the Fall 2010 semester at Rutgers–Newark, Chief Justice Poritz will teach courses on the New Jersey Supreme Court in alternating semesters at the two law schools. She also will deliver special lectures, consult with faculty members on areas of common scholarship, and complete a book on the importance of state courts.
A pioneer in the legal profession, Justice Poritz was the first woman to serve as New Jersey Attorney General and the State’s first woman Chief Justice. Among her many accomplishments as Chief Justice were the unification of the courts into a single statewide system and increasing the diversity of the judiciary workforce.
“During her years at the helm of the high court, Justice Poritz achieved wide recognition as both a distinguished jurist and an effective steward of the state judiciary,” said Rutgers–Newark Law School Dean John Farmer and Rutgers–Camden Law School Dean Rayman Solomon in a joint statement. “Our students will have a wonderfully knowledgeable teacher from whom to learn the workings of one of the most influential state Supreme Courts in the country.”
“I am delighted to have this opportunity to share, with the students at the law schools, what I have learned over some three decades serving in the executive and judicial branches of state government,” said Justice Poritz.
“Students at the Rutgers’ law schools in Newark and Camden are fortunate to have a jurist of Justice Poritz’s stature, who is also a long-time public servant of trailblazing achievements, share her distinctive perspective with them,” commented Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick.
In addition to her Rutgers teaching responsibilities, Justice Poritz will remain of counsel to the law firm of Drinker Biddle, where she concentrates her law practice in government and corporate investigations, mediation and arbitration, and appellate matters.
The retired chief justice is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. On graduation, she joined the office of the New Jersey Attorney General as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Law, Environmental Protection Section. She later was named Deputy Attorney General in charge of appeals and chief of the Banking, Insurance and Public Securities Section, and subsequently served as Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Division of Law.
Chief Justice Poritz was appointed chief counsel to Governor Thomas H. Kean. When Governor Kean left office, she became a partner at the law firm of Jamieson, Moore, Peskin & Spicer. She remained at Jamieson until her appointment by Governor Christine T. Whitman as New Jersey’s first woman attorney general. On July 10, 1996, she took the oath of office as the first woman Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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