March 23, 2021
"Find something that you are passionate about in the law. . . A professional career is a long time, and you do not get many shots at that so best feel strongly and passionately about what you are doing."

Freddy A. Jimenez RLAW ’96 is a Senior Vice-President and General Counsel at Celldex Therapeutics, who attended Rutgers Law as an evening student.

He said, “I balanced the demands of work with the rigors of law school and found exactly what I needed to further my professional development at Rutgers Law School. I was able to tailor my non-core courses (e.g., administrative law, patent law, corporate law, FDA law) to my professional interests and participated in the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal all while receiving instruction and support from top-notch faculty, including Eric Neisser (RIP), whom I served as research assistant for.”

Prior to Celldex, he worked at Johnson & Johnson for 23 years—including as head of the pharmaceutical regulatory legal group for J&J, where he coordinated legal strategy, deployment, and provided advice and counsel regarding regulatory, compliance, and fraud and abuse matters to pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical affiliates of J&J. He also is on the Board of Directors and General Counsel for the Food and Drug Law Institute

Jimenez has been an active mentor for law students, which he said he finds immensely fulfilling, “In my mentorship of law students, I emphasize the importance of academic performance and extracurricular activities, like law journal and clinics and also to appreciate the importance of networking.  I also point out that a legal education opens up many possibilities, including in areas outside the law.  I think I would have benefitted from understanding that there is a method to teaching law that is likely different than what students experienced previously.  Cases are presented not so much because they may be decided correctly to be memorized as black letter law, as opposed to teaching students an analytical approach to formulating and analyzing a legal problem.” 

This summer, he will mentor an MSP student taking part in a summer internship at Celldex. 

Jimenez said he encourages other alumni to stay engaged with Rutgers, “I think it is part of giving back.  I have derived great professional satisfaction from mentoring students and bringing them into my professional network.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to Rutgers Law and we can help it continue to be a bastion of legal learning.”

His advice to law students is this, “I would just say to find something that you are passionate about in the law.  For me it is about helping innovative people bringing new therapies to address human illness in a way that maximizes their legal opportunities while keeping them clear of legal mine fields.  A professional career is a long time, and you do not get many shots at that so best feel strongly and passionately about what you are doing.”

Rutgers Law Media Contacts:
Mike Sepanic (Camden); Elizabeth Moore (Newark)

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