Third Annual Attorney Alumni Networking Event Features Appellate Judge Jose L. Fuentes

The Honorable Jose L. Fuentes, P.J.A.D., '78

A group of Montclair State alumni who practice law or currently attend law school gathered for the Third Annual Attorney Alumni networking event on November 12.

Political Science and Law Professors Marilyn Tayler and Avram Segall kicked off the event with informal introductions, and Tayler noted that the attendees represented three generations of law at Montclair State.

Segall reported on the success of the new Pre-Law Internship Program, thanking the 14 sponsors who supported the 2013 program by giving jurisprudence majors and pre-law minors first-hand experience in a law office, judicial setting, corporation or agency.

Tracey Cordeiro, a senior in the program, enjoyed the event and the chance to mingle with esteemed attorney alumni. “The event was a great networking opportunity,” notes Cordeiro. “I had the honor of meeting successful attorney alumni and hearing Judge Fuentes' keynote speech. I truly believe that networking is the key to success and that it is critical that both alumni and students reach out to distinguished individuals in their field of study in order to make professional connections and gain insight.”

The event’s guest speaker, The Honorable Jose L. Fuentes, P.J.A.D., who graduated from Montclair State in 1978, also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University in 2007.

The appellate judge reminded the group that, “practicing law is not always glamorous or lucrative or even intellectually stimulating. But being a lawyer is the most fulfilling experience any critically thinking person can have.”

Fuentes went on to talk about his time as a student at the University. “I will always remember my time here as one of the great experiences of my life,” he recalled. “The rich and diverse intellectual resources made available to us in the form of dedicated professors were matched by the academic freedom to explore, develop and test the limits of our youthful exuberance.”

The college experience was a welcomed change for Fuentes, who had attended what he described as a “segregated laboratory school in Jersey City, conceived and constructed in the 1920s and dedicated to the proposition that physically handicapped children needed to be socially isolated for their own protection.”  

Fuentes persevered and flourished at Montclair State, becoming the first in his family to not only graduate from college but also from law school.  As a role model for young and aspiring lawyers, his distinguished legal career has spanned private practice and a Union City Municipal Court judgeship as well as his current position on the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.

Click here to read Judge Fuentes’ remarks in full.

If you are interested in participating in this group or mentor program, visit the affinity page or contact Deb Corasio at 973-655-4207 or

The Montclair State University Department of Political Science and Law and Office of Alumni Relations acknowledges with appreciation the following sponsors of Pre-law student interns in the Fall 2013 Pre-law Internship Program (JURI497):

  • Hon. Bonnie Mizdol, P.J.F.P., Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County
  • Hon. Ralph L. DeLuccia, Jr., J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County
  • Hon. Miguel A. de la Carrera, J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County
  • Hon. Bruno J. Mongiardo, J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County
  • Cohn Lifland Pearlman Hermann & Knopf, LLP
  • Walder, Hayden & Brogan, P.A.
  • Frank & Pollack, LLC
  • Northeast Legal Services of New Jersey
  • Rosario “Sam” Presti, Esq.
  • Lucinda P. Long, Esq., Valley National Bank
  • Sandra E. Gabriele, Esq. '84
  • Hudson County Corrections
  • Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ziegler & Zemsky