Professor Philip Ross
Ruling on victims’ rights to compensation
For the past 15 years, Professor Philip Ross has coordinated the Seton Hall Law Pro Bono Program, which gives students the opportunity to experience, first-hand, the rigor—and the satisfaction—of taking on real cases that can change the lives of their clients, as students build and hone their legal skills. In spring 2009, Professor Ross committed to his own pro bono project when a longtime contact at the Crime Victims Center in Newark, which participates in the Pro Bono Program, suggested that he join the Victims of Crime Compensation Review Board. With that, his nomination was entered, and the State Senate confirmed the appointment in early December.
The Board reviews claims from victims of crimes who seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred, or for lost wages, as a result of the crime committed against them. Professor Ross will hold the position for three years.
As a career- long defense attorney, Professor Ross appreciates the irony of his new role on the review board, which is for the benefit of victims, who are typically under the protection of the prosecutor—is adversary. “As a trial lawyer and as a professor, I need to be fair-minded, to see both sides.” He was also inspired to advocate for victims because his parents were Polish survivors of the Holocaust, imprisoned at multiple concentration camps, including Auschwitz. “Knowing how my parents suffered in the camps, I believe Holocaust victims are among the ultimate victims the world has known. I think they would be proud of my appointment.”
Professor Ross also welcomes the opportunity to share his students’ passion for pro bono: “I ask our students to participate in pro bono work every day. I wanted to be a role model for them.”
Learn more about the Seton Hall Law Pro Bono program.
Read the article Professor Ross contributed to the 2007 issue of Victim Voice, the magazine of the New Jersey Crime Victims’ Law Center.