Seton Hall Law Alumna to Receive GSBA Award
Seton Hall Law alumna, Cymetra M. Williams ’15, will be awarded the Garden State Bar Association’s (GSBA) Young Lawyer Award on June 15 at its 44th Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala. The GSBA is the largest and oldest organization for African-American judges, lawyers, and law students in New Jersey.
After earning her undergraduate degree at College of the Holy Cross, Williams focused on public health, receiving dual-MPA/MPH degrees from Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs and its Mailman School of Public Health. She went on to work in the public health sector.
Her decision to study law was “a pragmatic one and not aspirational,” based on what she viewed as the best investment for a 32-year-old nontraditional student. Williams’s work experience “provided a practical insight into my studies.”
Although Williams originally was interested in Seton Hall Law because of its highly-ranked health law program, and she took the Healthcare Compliance Certificate Program as a 2L, she did not concentrate in health law but “spent time taking classes that challenged me and stretched my knowledge.”
That effort paid off for Williams, currently an Associate at Gibbons P.C. practicing Commercial & Criminal Litigation.
The GSBA’s Young Lawyer Award was bestowed in part for her work at Gibbons, where she helped pilot a clerkship program meant to increase diversity in the legal profession by preparing area law students of color for judicial clerkship and post-clerkship employment interviews. She stresses the value of judicial clerkships, especially for “first-generation or diverse students who may not have the resources or means to navigate landing a firm job straight out of the box.” As part of the GSBA’s outreach, Williams is also active, speaking on panels and participating in its mentoring program.
“Seton Hall Law has affected each step of my journey,” reminisces Williams, who credits the Deans and professors as being great resources.
“I graduated from Seton Hall Law, clerked for alumni of Seton Hall Law [The Honorable Walter F. Timpone ’79 and The Honorable Michael A. Shipp ’94,] and work at a firm in New Jersey whose managing partner [Patrick C. Dunican Jr. ’91] is an alumnus of Seton Hall Law. The alumni community has been very supportive, which is one reason I try to give back through mentorship. I am proud to be a member of the Seton Hall Law community.”