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Karol Ruiz

New Jersey Women’s Lawyer’s Association – Honoring Seton Hall Law’s Own

The Honorable Dorothea Wefing ’72 presented with the Trailblazer Award

Seton Hall Law extends its congratulations to the women of Seton Hall Law who were honored at the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association Seventh Annual Women’s Initiative and Leaders in the Law Platinum Gala, held on March 25, 2014. Karol Ruiz ’14, a Center for Social Justice Scholar and already an accomplished advocate for underserved and underrepresented populations, was presented with the prestigious NJWLA scholarship, awarded to a woman student in each of New Jersey’s law schools. In her application essay, Ruiz wrote:

"Once I earn my law degree, I plan to break through barriers that pose challenges for women in leadership positions. I have the privilege of instruction from some of New Jersey's most prestigious women law professors, who blaze the path for current law students to follow, while challenging us to create our own. In addition, I had the great opportunity to present my very first case in the Seton Hall University School of Law Center for Social Justice Immigrant Rights/International Human Rights Clinic before Judge Dorothy Harbeck. Watching a woman on the bench is a reminder of the great possibilities open to me thanks to the ground-breaking work of women that came before me. Thankfully, New Jersey's Women Lawyers Association members provide the example and offer the mentorship I need to reach my goals. Whether I advocate for a class as part of gender equality impact litigation, become an elected official, or provide pro-bono representation to women within a non-profit organization, I will pay forward the blessings I have received."

The Honorable Dorothea O.C. Wefing ’72, who retired from the New Jersey Appellate Division but had been temporarily assigned to serve on the New Jersey State Supreme Court, was presented with the Trailblazer Award.

Judge Wefing is a graduate of Manhattanville College and Seton Hall Law. After graduating from law school, she clerked for Appellate Division Judge Robert Matthews and then worked from 1973 until 1983 at the law firm of Schumann Hession Kennelly & Dorment in Jersey City. She was appointed a Superior Court judge in 1984 and reappointed in 1991. Judge Wefing served as a trial judge in Hudson County, primarily in the Civil Division. She also sat in the Chancercy Division, General Equity, in Essex County. She was then assigned to the Appellate Division where she served for many years, eventually becoming Presiding Judge for Administration of the Appellate Division. In 2011, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner assigned Judge Wefing to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court, where she sat until her retirement in 2012.

The Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo ‘89, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the event.