By Jeanne Leong
Kori Newallo RLAW’19 attributes much of her success at Rutgers Law School in Camden to the support and guidance she received from the Minority Student Program.
“The Minority Student Program provided me with resources that I didn’t even know I needed,” says Newallo, one of the 11 students in the first MSP graduating class at the Rutgers–Camden location.
Through the MSP, she developed legal and networking skills that led to internships at local private practices.
“I gained a confidence for traversing the confusing world of the law, especially as a student who did not have the benefit of tapping into the resource of family members or friends who have successfully completed the journey,” says Newallo, now a clerk for New Jersey Superior Court Judge Deborah Silverman Katz. She hopes to work in environmental or corporate law in the future.
In honor of the first graduating students of the MSP in Camden, faculty, staff, alumni, and family members joined Rutgers Law Co-Dean Kim Mutcherson and Rutgers University–Camden Chancellor Phoebe Haddon for a celebratory luncheon at the Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel at the end of the spring 2019 semester.
“The inaugural Camden MSP graduates have left an indelible mark on the law school,” says Assistant Dean Rhasheda Douglas, who oversees the MSP at Rutgers Law in Camden. “They have served as leaders of various student groups and as role models for more junior MSP students. With the support and resources that they have received from MSP, they will undoubtedly continue to blaze trails in the legal profession.”
Keynote speaker Camelia Valdes RLAW’96, who serves as Passaic County prosecutor, said the support of the MSP was key to her success in law school and preparing her for her legal career.
An alumna of the MSP at Rutgers Law in Newark, Valdes became the first Latina county prosecutor in New Jersey when she was appointed by Governor Jon Corzine in 2009. She was also the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States.
The MSP began in 1968 at Rutgers Law School in Newark, serving students from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented communities by offering legal skills development, academic support, alumni mentoring and networking, and internship opportunities. The MSP has also assisted aspiring law students through the annual Pre-Law Diversity Conference for undergraduates, helping them prepare for the LSAT and offering guidance on applying to law school.
In 2016, the MSP expanded to the Camden location.