Four graduates of Rutgers School of Law–Newark have been recognized by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law, in cooperation with county and specialty bar associations, for their outstanding character, commitment to professionalism, and involvement in organized bar and community activities. The Professional Lawyer of the Year awards were presented at the commission’s annual awards luncheon, held on January 16, 2013 in Edison.
The commission is a cooperative venture of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the state and federal judiciary, and New Jersey’s law schools. Its mission is to strengthen the traditional values, sense of responsibility, and public purpose associated with the law profession.
The award recipients are:
Lorraine A. Abraham ’74, a partner at Schiffman, Abraham, Kaufman & Ritter, P.C., Hackensack. She has been listed as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in the areas of Estate Planning and Probate and Estate Litigation. In 2012 she was recognized by the Bergen County Bar Association as the Hon. Peter Ciolino Professional Lawyer of the Year. Abraham is a founding member of Women Lawyers in Bergen County, and a former member of the State Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee, the New Jersey Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct, and the board of trustees of the Bergen County Bar Association.
Dennis A. Auciello ’73, who maintains a practice in New Brunswick where his practice areas include family law, land use law, personal injury, and general litigation. In 2002 he was the recipient of the David Pavlovsky Service to the Bar Award. Auciello served as president of the Middlesex County Bar Association from 1996-1997 and as president of the Middlesex County Bar Foundation from 2003-2004. He also served for two terms on the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) nominations committee and three years on the NJSBA Judicial Appointments Committee.
Dara A. Govan ’01, an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey. She began her legal career as a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and then was an associate at Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP for seven years. Govan is a member of the Garden State Bar Association.
Suzette T. Rodriguez ’03, an associate counsel of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Inc. where she is responsible for managing defensive and affirmative litigation matters, including vicarious and direct liability claims, employment litigation, franchise litigation, and enforcing intellectual property rights. She was previously an associate in the labor and employment departments of LeClair Ryan and at Wong Fleming. Rodriquez was 2011-2012 president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey. She serves as secretary of the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority and is a member of the advisory board of the New Jersey Educational Empowerment Project (NJ LEEP).