December 1, 2020

What were you doing before you came to Rutgers Law School?

Before arriving at law school, I was the Manager of Workforce Administration for Rowan College at Burlington County. I now have a similar role, however now within the Burlington County Dept. of Human Services. My responsibilities included grant management of over $4 million in funds, as well as assisting with the workforce initiatives of Burlington County and surrounding areas. As we see with this pandemic, viable employment is more important than ever. I am extremely happy about the work the Workforce Board does in connecting individuals with in-demand and sustainable employment in industries such as Advanced Manufacturing, Health Services and Information Technology. 

How did you choose to come to law school, and why Rutgers?

I have always wanted to be an attorney, probably since the age of about 7 or 8. However, I had a bit of a non-traditional path to law school. Having been focused on my career for sometime, I couldn't fight the urge to go to law school and realize my life-long dream any longer. I chose Rutgers specifically because I have always felt incredibly "at home" at Rutgers. I received both my undergrad and graduate degrees from Rutgers-Camden. The Rutgers community has always fostered an environment of inclusion, innovation and access. Rutgers is also more affordable, which is incredible considering the caliber of education and resources you receive. 

What do you hope to get out of law school?

I hope to receive a greater understanding of the law and how it works. This understanding will hopefully lead to an ability to advocate for communities that are often underserved and sometimes ignored. I hope to be a champion of change in the legal system, and educator and source of assistance for individuals who find themselves encountering legal issues. Though I do not know what kind of law I intend to practice, I hope to always maintain a commitment to my community. 

Tell a little more about yourself.

I am originally from Brooklyn, NY I moved to Lawnside, NJ in middle school. Lawnside was developed and incorporated as the first independent, self-governing black municipality in the north in 1840 and I am super proud of the history of my town. I went to Rutgers Univ. - Camden for both undergrad and graduate school. I received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Liberal Studies. I am the last of 8 children and have 22 nieces and nephews, as well as 1 great-niece. I have a really big, close family and feel really fortunate about that. I am a first-generation American on my mother's side. My mother immigrated here from Jamaica. My father is from California. I grew up with parents from different faiths, (Mom=Christian, Dad=Muslim). That taught me the importance of being open-minded to different thoughts, beliefs, etc. 

 Talk about your hobbies and philanthropic work. 

I started my professional career at the NJ State Legislature for the 5th Legislative District. The 5th District represented Camden and Gloucester Counties, including Camden City. There I was responsible for interacting with constituents, Legislative research and writing and liaisoning on behalf of my membership with municipal, state and federal offices. I have volunteered my time with CONTACT of Burlington County which provides suicide and sexual assault prevention services. In addition, I am a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committees for Burlington County's Court Vicinage and Samaritan Hospice.

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

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