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John J. Farmer, Jr. Named Dean of the Law School

A widely admired former public official and attorney with outstanding legal and administrative accomplishments, John J. Farmer, Jr. has had a prominent career in government service at the state and national level and in private practice. Notable positions include Senior Counsel and Team Leader of the 9/11 Commission, Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, and Chief Counsel to former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. Upon graduation from Georgetown University Law Center, he clerked for Justice Alan B. Handler (Ret.) of the New Jersey Supreme Court and later served as an assistant U.S. attorney. Currently in private practice handling matters ranging from white collar criminal defense to governmental and regulatory affairs, Farmer has also served as Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security. “John Farmer is known throughout the legal community for his integrity, his intelligence, his determined yet collegial management of difficult issues, and his steadfast commitment to the rule of law,” commented Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz (Ret.). April 2009 | Read Story

Students Salute a Summer of Substantive and Rewarding Legal Work

Summer jobs for Rutgers School of Law–Newark students take as many different forms as there are legal practice areas. Students explore new areas of the law and reinforce classroom lessons in positions with the federal, state and local judiciary, private law firms, corporations, government offices, NGOs, and public interest organizations in the metropolitan area and across the country. At Lowenstein Sandler Wan Cha ’15 (shown here) appreciated the diverse assignments and commitment to attorney development. As a law clerk at Fried Frank, Malika Brown ’15 was able to test drive “my dream job” to which she’ll be returning after graduation. Caitlin Miller ’16 found the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights a perfect match for her passion to fight for the underserved. The dedication to representing children that Shashwat Dave ’15 experienced at LAS’s Juvenile Rights Program boosted his determination to practice in that area. What was most rewarding to Linda Lee ’15 were the diverse and substantive assignments and supportive and collegial environment that Bressler afforded. For Tiffany Ornedo ’15, an internship at ACLU-NJ solidified her desire to become a public interest lawyer. | Read Story

Former Dancer Erica Nelson ’07 Leads Effort to Reduce Racial Inequity in Dane County, WI

Dance classes since early childhood. Her first decade lived in rural Wisconsin. Parents whose careers centered around efforts to improve the lives of disadvantaged families and children. Much of her youth spent on the East Coast. For Erica Nelson ’07, it was a natural decision to move to New York City after graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in order to pursue her passion for modern dance. But a legal career was always in the back of her mind and, after six years as a professional dancer, Nelson enrolled at Rutgers School of Law–Newark for its clinics, public service opportunities, diversity, and proximity to the life she had created in Brooklyn. An interest in open space preservation and environmental justice issues drew her to environmental law but a summer internship at Lawyers for Children brought a special fulfillment. Three years after receiving her J.D. and working as a public interest lawyer, Nelson and her husband decided to return to Madison where, as project director of Race for Equity, she is helping to lead an important conversation about racial disparities. August 2014 | Read Story

Mariel Mercado-Guevara ’15 Has Immersion in IP Law, Thanks to HNBA/Microsoft Scholarship

Going to law school was something that Mariel Mercado-Guevara ’15 always knew she would do “one day.” That’s largely due to the example of her father who, after retiring from the U.S. Army, became a Hispanic consumer advisor to the Governor of Maryland. “My late father’s experience showed me how education can empower communities to be a part of the political process and create a more vibrant, knowledgeable, and cohesive community.” But first Mercado-Guevara pursued two degrees in music, performed around the country as a professional opera singer, worked as a realtor and as a community organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, married and had two children, and took a job with a boutique intellectual property law firm to determine whether law school was right for her. She loved the job and a senior attorney’s question, “Have you ever thought about law school?” sealed her decision. At Rutgers School of Law–Newark, where she is a rising 4LE, Mercado-Guevara has, not surprisingly, found herself drawn to IP law. In early June, she participated in the highly-selective Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA)/Microsoft IP Law Institute in Washington, DC. July/August 2014 | Read Story

Alexander Hernandez ’14: JAG Corps Is Opportunity to Serve and to Help

Count yourself lucky to have been born in America, truly a land of opportunity. That oft-repeated declaration by his grandparents was what sparked an interest for Alexander E. Hernandez ’14 in joining the military. Growing up, he came to see the chance both to receive a college degree and serve his country. As a member of the Army ROTC at Fordham University, Hernandez grew more certain that he wanted a career in the military but also became interested in the advocacy that a law degree would enable him to do. He decided to apply for an educational delay from the Army and enrolled at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, where be was a co-founder of the Rutgers Veterans Pro Bono Project. The project is modeled after a program started by William S. Greenberg ’67, now a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, when he was at McCarter & English. Hernandez has been accepted into the highly-selective Judge Advocate General’s Corps and in a few months will eagerly report to Fort Benning, Georgia to begin training as a JAG Corps officer. May/June 2014 | Read Story

Rinat Shangeeta ’15: National Recognition for IP Law, Mentoring Commitments

Passionate about both mentoring and intellectual property law, Rinat Shangeeta ’15 has found ways at Rutgers School of Law–Newark to experience the rewards of both – and in so doing, has won national and state recognition. As president of the Intellectual Property Law Society, she developed and launched a Mentoring Program that paired IP law students with volunteer mentors recruited from law firms and top entertainment industry companies. In March her commitment and dedication to the law school and the practice of law were recognized by the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association. The same month she was selected as the winner of the 2014 Mark T. Banner Scholarship, a national award given to one aspiring IP lawyer each year by the Richard Linn American Inn of Court. It’s the kind of recognition that would not have seemed possible to the 17-year-old immigrant from Bangladesh who felt lost in her small-town Virginia high school. An ESL teacher, her first mentor, helped Shangeeta find a talent for math that would lead to a successful career in engineering and an interest in patent law. April/May 2019 | Read Story

Samuel Dillon ’15: Pulitzer Prize Winner Leaves Journalism for Public Service Law

Attending law school had been a dormant goal of Samuel Dillon for decades. After completing his B.A. at the University of Minnesota, he applied to law school but elected instead to accept an offer from the Columbia J-School. That decision led to a highly successful career as a journalist, including almost two decades with the New York Times, two Pulitzer Prizes, an award-winning book, and thousands of articles on the people, governments and institutions of two continents. Years spent as a news correspondent in Central and South America at a time when reporters, not human rights activists, were often the ones uncovering stories of rights abuses were gratifying and exhilarating. “In short,” he says, “journalism felt like public service.” Over time changes in the newspaper business eroded that feeling and Dillon, his interest provoked by a report about inadequate representation for detained immigrants in removal proceedings, decided to pursue a new career. At Rutgers School of Law–Newark he has found courses and internships that fit his post J.D. goal of representing needy immigrants. March/April 2014 | Read Story

DOJ Honors Program Clerkship Is Ideal Fit for Stephanie Robins ’14

Growing up in a town in which social justice work and helping others were strongly encouraged instilled in Stephanie Robins ’14 the determination to do her part to fight inequality and injustice. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College, Robins returned to Dakar, Senegal, where she had spent an undergraduate year studying migration and public health issues. For 18 months she taught English to students and professionals and supervised a cultural program. Living in Senegal she came to realize that, even more than grassroots activism, public interest lawyering has the potential not only to improve people’s lives but also to create lasting change. She chose Rutgers School of Law–Newark based on its reputation for valuing and encouraging public interest work. As our first Immigrant Rights Fellow, Robins has enjoyed numerous opportunities to engage in immigrant rights advocacy and education. Her demonstrated commitment to legal and public policy issues that concern immigrants won her a prestigious post-graduation clerkship with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Honors Program in the Executive Office for Immigration Review. March 2014 | Read Story

Professor David Troutt: Fixing the Broken American Dream Demands Greater Interdependency

“I really do love cities and urban dynamics,” says David Dante Troutt. “I discovered a strong sense of place by living in and fighting for cities, which informs my place-based writing and advocacy today.” Troutt, whose teaching and scholarship at Rutgers School of Law–Newark have focused primarily on issues of race, poverty and economic development, traces diminishing access to the American dream to the “culture of localism.” Excesses of localism-based policies which, he argues in his new book The Price of Paradise: The Costs of Inequality and a Vision for a More Equitable America, is designed to preserve middle-class stability by keeping poor people in place, have led to “inefficiency, fiscal stress, segregation and gross inequity.” Given changing demographics related to migration and fertility, however, what have been mainly problems of the inner cities are now threatening the well-being of first-ring suburbs and beyond. Troutt makes the case that metropolitan equity strategies which allow for the sharing of burdens and benefits on a more regional, less localized basis expand middle-class opportunities for the next generation. January/February 2014 | Read Story

Stuart Alderoty, Rosemary Alito and Lois Whitman Honored by the Alumni Association

The notable careers of three Rutgers School of Law–Newark graduates were recognized by the Alumni Association at its recent annual dinner. They are: Stuart A. Alderoty ’85, senior executive vice president and general counsel of HSBC North America Holdings Inc.; Rosemary Alito ’78, partner at K&L Gates and co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice; and Lois Whitman ’76, founder and former director of the Children’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. While the honorees have taken differing paths since receiving their J.D., they share a commitment to excellence and service that Rutgers–Newark Law instills in its students. The Alumni Association, understanding the dinner as an opportunity to salute current students who epitomize the ideals represented by the honorees, presented the Alumni Recognition Dinner Scholarship to Edwin Mercado and the Fannie Bear Besser Scholarship for Public Service to Stephanie Robins, both from the Class of 2014. December 2013/January 2014 | Read Story