Rutgers Law-Camden next month will honor two local LGBT advocates.
At the Oct. 1 Mary Philbrook Awards Celebration, the law school will celebrate the life and career of former Mazzoni Center legal director David M. Rosenblum, who ran Mazzoni’s legal-services program from 2011 until his sudden passing in May.
The school will also present the Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award to 1998 Rutgers Law-Camden alumna Tiffany Palmer, co-founder and shareholder at Jerner & Palmer, PC, where she specializes in LGBT family law. Palmer has also been a member of Mazzoni’s legal advisory board since its inception in 2009.
“These are two distinguished legal professionals who have done a great deal to advance the cause of LGBT equality, and have impacted the lives of countless individuals through their work,” said Mazzoni Center CEO Nurit Shein. “While we are still mourning David’s loss, we are honored to see him recognized for his many outstanding contributions to his profession and to the LGBT community.”
Palmer said she was surprised and excited to be presented the award, which, she added, shows the evolution of LGBT rights in the legal field since she earned her law degree.
“I went to law school with the idea of pursuing a career in LGBT civil-rights law,” Palmer said. “I started at Rutgers in 1994 and there weren’t as many opportunities to do that kind of work as there are now. When I was going to law school, there wasn’t even a class on sexual orientation and the law, so I took things like Civil Rights Law and Women in the Law. I took a lot of Family Law courses and then I did summer internships focused on LGBT-rights work. It’s been something that has been my passion.”
Palmer added that marriage equality becoming legal in Pennsylvania has become a game-changer in her field.
“Things are going to be less complex than they were previously,” she said. “From 1998 until last year, my practice had been primarily focused on the complication that couples face when they don’t have full access to marriage equality. Now, you are basically looking at the body of family law and divorce law and all of those roles. I think there will be a period over the next two years [in which]we are working out the complications of couples not having access to marriage equality for so long.”
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