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Student Fellows

Student Fellows

The Fellows Program provides students with an opportunity to undertake meaningful research in the fields of corporate and commercial law. Each year, four students are selected from the Newark campus and four students are selected from the Camden campus. Students selected for participation in the program complete two substantial research projects: First, students complete a 20-page Research Report each semester that meets the Directed Research requirements.  Second, students write one blog entry on a “hot topic” in business law. Fellows meet with the Research Director every other week in the distance learning classroom to discuss the progress of their research, and fellows also review each other’s work and provide feedback to each other. Consistent with the Directed Research requirements, Fellows choose their research topics with the guidance and approval of the Research Director.

2016-2017

Pedro Blanco is in his fourth and final year of the part-time evening program at Rutgers Law School. He is a New York native from Long Island and earned his BS, cum laude, from St. John’s University. Prior to law school, he worked as a paralegal at Sugarman Law, P.C., a general practice law firm on Long Island, and later as a corporate paralegal for the legal department of Encore Capital Group. During his second year of law school, Pedro accepted a full-time position with Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey’s legal affairs division, where he currently works for both the corporate and regulatory practice groups. At Rutgers, Pedro served as a clinical associate in the Rutgers Education and Health Law Clinic, where he represented low income and indigent learning disabled children with special education needs. In 2015, he served as student director of the LGBTQ legal education and outreach project. Pedro plans to continue working in the corporate and regulatory health law arena post law school and also hopes to work with Hispanic advocacy groups in order to increase Hispanic engagement in local, state and federal political issues.

Richard Cogan is a 4th year JD/MBA candidate at Rutgers Law School and Rutgers School of Business. Richard is currently a Business and Marketing Editor for the Rutgers Journal of Law and Public Policy. Prior to his studies at Rutgers, Richard attended Muhlenberg College where he earned a B.A. in Economics and Finance.

Timothy Kawira is a third-year law student at Rutgers Law School. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a major in Political Science and minor in Biology. Prior to law school he worked as a paralegal in IP and bankruptcy firms. He also spent several years as a rural development coordinator with the Shirati Health, Education and Development Foundation where he assisted with the expansion of several community development and research projects. During law school he has worked as a: research assistant; judicial extern; senior editor for his law school journal; and a research intern for the Human Rights Foundation. Timothy hopes to pursue a career in international transactional law upon graduating from law school.

Gemini Nazareno, Jr. is a third-year student at Rutgers Law School from Old Bridge, New Jersey. Gemini studied Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Economics at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, he immediately enrolled into law school. During the summer after his first-year, Gemini interned with the State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, working in the Tax, Bankruptcy, and Debt Recovery Section. During the fall semester of his second-year, Gemini served as a law clerk for the regional bankruptcy firm, McCabe Weisberg & Conway in the Philadelphia Office’s Bankruptcy Department. During the spring semester of his second-year, Gemini externed with the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps. During the summer after his second-year, Gemini served as a certified legal intern with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. As part of the Student Honors Program, Gemini currently works with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Enforcement. Following graduation, Gemini intends to pursue a career as a litigator in the public sector.

Yian Pan is a third-year law student at Rutgers Law School, and is originally from Singapore. Yian has had exposure to various legal areas, including litigation, criminal defense, and immigration, but is most interested in doing transactional work in future. She is currently working on the bankruptcy team at Thomson Reuter’s Practical Law Company, and also serves as an Articles Editor of Rutgers University Law Review. Prior to law school, Yian obtained her B.A. in English Literature from Columbia University.

Andres Puerta is a first-generation Latino law student and a member of the Minority Student Program. Andres is currently a Senior Editor of the Rutgers Race and the Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Board.  Additionally, Andres is the current Vice President of Professional Outreach for the Rutgers Finance and Business Law Society. After graduation, Andres will serve as clerk to Judge Ellen Koblitz of the Superior Court, Appellate Division, and afterwards, will join the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

Dan Selznick is a 2L student currently pursuing Rutgers Law School’s Corporate and Business Law Certification. Outside of the classroom, Dan is a member of Rutgers University Law Review as well as the Business Law Club. During his 1L Summer, Dan interned for The Honorable Judge Poslusny at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey as well as The Honorable Judge Fallon at the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Dan hopes to practice either corporate law or intellectual property law upon graduation from Rutgers.

Kyle A. Valente is in his third and final year at Rutgers Law School. Kyle obtained his bachelor’s degree from Boston College in political science and psychology in three years. While in college, Kyle interned at the Massachusetts State House and for former U.S. Senator John F. Kerry. During his first year of law school, Kyle received the Wallace Vail Scholarship, awarded to the candidate who achieved the highest academic performance among the three NJ law schools. After his first year of law school, Kyle served as a law clerk at McCarter & English LLP and contributed to two articles that were later published in the New Jersey Lawyer Magazine. While at McCarter & English LLP, Kyle was selected as a Paul S. Miller Scholar, providing him with a full tuition and fees merit scholarship for his legal education. In his second year, Kyle was a student honors intern for the Securities and Exchange Commission in New York City and served as a legal skills teaching fellow where he tutored first year students in contracts law. He also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Judge Susan D. Wigenton at the District Courthouse in Newark, NJ. Between his second and third years, Kyle worked as a summer associate at Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C. in Florham Park, where he hopes to return as an associate upon graduation. Kyle is a proud member of the Minority Student Program and is a clinical law student in the Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic at Rutgers Law School.

 

2015-2016

Ryann Aaron, a third-year law student at Rutgers Law School, was born and raised in Kansas. Prior to law school, Ryann was a CPA and worked for an accounting firm in Kansas doing both auditing and tax work. In his 1L summer, Ryann continued his professional career as a Philadelphia Diversity Law Group (PDLG) Fellow working in the corporate legal department of FMC Corporation; in his 2L summer, he worked as a Summer Associate at Genova Burns law firm. Ryann currently serves as Lead Notes Editor on the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Association for Public Interest Law (APIL) President, and project leader of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) pro bono program at Rutgers. Additionally, he continues to work as a law clerk at Genova Burns and is excited to join their associate staff after graduation.

Brett Haroldson has had quite the amalgam of life experiences before coming to law school. After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., Haroldson moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a professional comedian. He eventually returned to New Jersey where he became the General Manager of a private medical practice. After law school, Haroldson hopes to continue writing and pursue a career in small business development/management and corporate governance.

James Helm is a JD/MBA candidate at Rutgers Camden Law and Rutgers Camden School of Business. He expects to earn his dual degree in the spring of 2018. While in law school, James served as a judicial intern for Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey. He also worked during the school year part-time as a law clerk in Swartz Cambell’s Professional Liability Practice Group. Prior to law school, James Helm attended Pennsylvania State University where he graduated with a major in Political Science and minor in English. In his spare time, James enjoys singing and playing the harmonica.

Eric Moats is a third-year student at the Camden campus of Rutgers Law School. During his time at Rutgers, Eric has focused on legal issues involving sports and business. During his 1L summer, Eric worked at Utah State University in their athletic compliance department and subsequently served as President of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society in his 2L year. During his 3L year Eric became a Research Fellow for the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance and wrote on a variety of topics from the inability for marijuana dispensaries to obtain financing in Colorado to a comparative piece analyzing the difference between Delaware and New Jersey’s derivative litigation. Eric currently serves as a law clerk at Berger Harris LLP in Wilmington, Delaware, assisting with commercial litigation and corporate transactional matters. Following graduation Eric plans to return to Delaware to practice corporate law. Prior to Law School, Eric attended Utah State University, where he received a dual major in Economics and Marketing while playing football for the university.

Aleksandra Kaplun is a third-year law student at Rutgers Law School. As a Research Fellow with the Rutgers Center for Corporate Law and Governance, she has written on topics including employment law, business divorce litigation, and corporate responsibility. She is currently researching the circuit split on the class ascertainability requirement and its impact on corporate defendants facing class action suits. Her findings will culminate in a report that will be published this Spring. In addition, she serves as an Articles Editor for the Rutgers University Law Review and is a member of the Rutgers Women’s Law Forum. Following graduation, Aleksandra will clerk with Hon. Marianne Espinosa of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, for the 2016-17 year. She plans to pursue a career in corporate litigation with a focus on class action law and other complex litigation issues. Prior to law school, Aleksandra graduated cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics, and a minor in Law, Policy and Society.

Alexandra Kozyra is a third-year student at the Newark campus of Rutgers Law School where she is a member of the Rutgers University Law Review and Rutgers Moot Court Board. This fall, Alexandra will join K&L Gates as an Associate in their Newark office.

Autumn Knicely received her B.A. from Purdue University. She is currently pursuing a J.D. at Rutgers Law School where she is the Tischler Scholar, Research Fellow for the Center of Corporate Law and Governance, and intern for Justice Albin of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She has worked as a Teaching Fellow for the Minority Student Program, a Teaching Assistant for both Legal Research and Writing and Civil Procedure, and a Research Assistant for Prof. Yuliya Guseva on the effects of Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd on suits against foreign private issuers.

Michele J. Perrotta is a third-year law student at Rutgers School of Law. He graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University New Brunswick with majors in Political Science and Labor Studies and Management Relations. As a Research Fellow for the Center of Corporate Law and Governance, Michele has focused his research on benefit corporations, the U.S Attorney’s Manual guidelines for prosecuting corporate defendants and individual wrongdoers, and how trade associations influence their members manufacturing operations abroad. Prior to law school, he worked as a professional in commercial and domestic garden maintenance and ran several landscape/construction companies. Michele hopes to pursue a career in civil litigation and aspires to one day own a full service law firm.