Before law school begins, a pledge and a reminder for Rutgers students

At the start of their law school educations, Rutgers-Camden’s law school students will be reminded of the challenges and rewards of their profession, hearing from a respected minority lawyer and pledging to uphold justice and due process in the face of adversity.

At a welcome reception Sunday, Aug. 24, students will take a ceremonial lawyer’s pledge, led by the president of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Paulette Brown, the first woman of color to head the American Bar Association, will deliver remarks to incoming first-year students at Rutgers-Camden’s law school Sunday, Aug. 25.

“I will strive … to weigh conflicting loyalties and guide my work with an eye to what is good, acting less for myself than for justice and the people,” reads the version to be read at the ceremony, which also includes being “at all times, even at personal sacrifice, a champion of fairness and due process, in court or not, for all persons, whether the powerful or envied, or my neighbors, or the helpless or the hated or the oppressed.”

First-year law students at Rutgers–Camden are currently in an orientation week; the law school’s classes begin next Monday, Aug. 25. The welcome reception takes place just before the first day of classes.

Paulette Brown, a North Jersey lawyer who is the first woman of color to head the American Bar Association, will deliver a keynote address to the approximately 182 1L students. Brown, a partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP in Morristown, is currently president-elect and expected to be sworn in next August.

Brown received her bachelor’s degree from Howard University and her law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. She has been named a prominent female and minority attorney in the state by the New Jersey Law Journal, and one of “the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers In America” by the National Law Journal.

In January, she was one of three people honored by the Rutgers Law-Camden Black Law Students Association at its 18th anual Champions of Social Justice Awards Banquet.

The annual welcome reception takes place in the Gordon Theater on the Rutgers-Camden campus and will include remarks from John Oberdiek, the acting dean of the law school, Dennis Braithwaite, a visiting professor, and Meredith Olearchik, chancellor of the Camden Law Alumni Association.