When Daniella Fischetti walks into the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Friday May, 25, 2012, she will not be unfamiliar with the ceremonial aspects of the Rutgers School of Law–Newark Class of 2012 commencement exercises. She was, after all, an attentive member of the NJPAC audience when first her sister, Gina, and four years later her brother, Richard, received their Rutgers Law School degree.
|Harry Evangelista in the 1927 edition of The Legacy, the law school yearbook.
But the Fischetti connection to Rutgers runs much deeper than a professional goal shared by three siblings. It extends back more than 75 years to her maternal grandfather Enrico (Harry) Evangelista, who graduated from the New Jersey Law School (a predecessor to Rutgers) in 1927 and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1930. One of the family’s most valued keepsakes is an old program from a banquet given by the Newark Vallatese Mutual Aid Society on March 23, 1930 in honor of Evangelista’s Bar admission. After graduating from law school, Evangelista worked as a tax assessor for the City of Newark.
Harry Evangelista died when Gina Fischetti was young, but his life was the subject of many stories when his grandchildren were growing up. It was very important to his immigrant parents that all of their children succeed. Harry entered law school at the age of 16 and had to wait three years after graduation to sit for the New Jersey State Bar exam. His acceptance into and graduation from law school as well as his acceptance to the Bar were certainly examples of his own personal achievement, but it was more than that. It was a symbol of his family becoming “Amerigan,” walking the line between an Italian family still maintaining its cultural identity while embracing all the country had to offer.
Having heard these stories of personal achievement growing up, the Fischetti children know exactly why they decided to go into law. “My sister,” Daniella explains, “coming from an archeological background, was interested in environmental and land use law, my brother wanted to do corporate law, and I’m most interested in intellectual property concerning art and music law.” As for the frequent joke that the siblings will form Fischetti, Fischetti & Fischetti, she agrees that “it would certainly make for an interesting firm!”
|Daniella Fischetti (l) with her brother Richard, a 2007 graduate of the law school, and her sister Gina, Class of 2003.
Daniella Fischetti graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College with a B.A. in philosophy and a double minor in art history and pre-medicine. As if that were not a sufficient course load, she also was cross-enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music to study violin performance. While a law student, she maintained ties to the worlds of art and music, earning a masters certificate in international art crimes and museum security, giving private violin lessons, volunteering with the NJ Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and serving on the Newark Museum’s College Committee.
At Rutgers Law School, as 2010-2011 co-president of the Art Law Society, Fischetti was instrumental in developing programs that raised the awareness of the law school and greater Newark artists’ community to current legal issues affecting artists. During the 2011-2012 academic year, she was senior articles editor of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. Her note, “Lost in Transcription: The Impact of Copyright Legislation on Women Folk Musicians in the 20th Century,” is forthcoming in the Reporter. As a student in the Rutgers Community Law Clinic, she honed her knowledge of IP matters by working on clients’ copyright and trademark applications and by executing copyright assignment agreements. Following graduation, Fischetti will clerk for Hon. Ronald B. Graves, Superior Court, Appellate Division.
Gina Fischetti, Class of 2003, participated in the joint J.D./M.C.R.P. program, receiving in addition to her law degree a master of city and regional planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers. She is a certified land use planner as well as a member of the Bar. Fischetti is chief counsel at the Office of Local Planning Services and the Council on Affordable Housing within the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, where she focuses on land use and housing law, and municipal and regional planning. Her B.A. in anthropology and English is from Douglass College, Rutgers University.
Richard C. Fischetti, Jr., who graduated in 2007, is an associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP, New York, where he concentrates his practice on mergers and acquisitions. He received his undergraduate degree in history summa cum laude from Rutgers University.
The Fischettis – siblings whose different interests and points of view meet in a passion for the same profession.