By Jeanne Leong
Alianza, the Latin American Law Students Alliance at Rutgers Law School in Camden has honored three alumni for their social justice and equality work.
At the 16th annual Defensores de la Justicia (Defenders of Justice) banquet held on the Rutgers University‒Camden campus on March 25, the alums were recognized for contributions to their communities.
Kiomeiry Csépes, a 2008 graduate of Rutgers University‒New Brunswick and a 2013 alum of Rutgers Law in Camden, is the owner and managing attorney at Csépes Law Offices in Trenton, N.J., where she specializes in family law and immigration law. Csépes began her legal career in 1999 as a family law paralegal assisting families in navigating the legal system. She volunteers at citizenship drives and know-your-rights workshops in the Trenton area and provides reduced cost and pro bono legal representation to low-income families. Csépes is the minority liaison for the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, serves as a New Jersey delegate for the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, and is a member of the pro bono committee for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Jaclyn Medina is a managing attorney in the Bergen Criminal Trial Region of the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. The 2004 Rutgers Law in Camden graduate serves on the OPD’s statewide Continuing Legal Education Committee and is co-chair of the Ethics and Professionalism Committee. Medina also serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s District Ethics and Minority Concerns Committees. Prior to joining the Office of the Public Defender, Medina was a law clerk to Judge Lois Lipton of the Superior Court, Law Division. She was an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickenson University for 11 years, teaching international studies. While a student at Rutgers Law in Camden, Medina was president of Alianza for two terms. In 2016, the New Jersey Law Journal selected her as a recipient of the “New Leaders of the Bar Award.” The Hispanic National Bar Association named her as a “Top Attorney Under 40” in 2018.
Hector D. Ruiz is a partner at the law firm of Walsh Pizzi O'Reilly Falanga LLP in Newark, N.J., where he concentrates on complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts. Previously, Ruiz was a partner at the law firm of Connell Foley LLP, where he also focused on complex commercial litigation. Prior to entering private practice, Ruiz, a 1997 graduate of Rutgers‒New Brunswick and a Class of 2000 Rutgers Law alum, was a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to now-Chief Judge Jose Linares. Ruiz was among members of a team named “Litigation Department of the Year” by the New Jersey Law Journal in 2014.