Retired NJ Supreme Court Justice Virginia Long Named Recipient of the Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award by Rutgers School of Law

September 19, 2013 – Press Releases

Virginia Long, former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice and counsel in the Princeton office of Fox Rothschild LLP, will receive the Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award by Rutgers School of Law.

The annual award, named in recognition of the first woman admitted to the New Jersey Bar and who was also responsible for the state Constitution’s equal rights provision, is in its 28th year. Justice Long will be recognized for her public service on and off the bench, including her work spearheading pro bono activities at Fox Rothschild.

A ceremony celebrating the award will be held October 3, 2013, at the Rutgers Camden Student Center, in Camden, New Jersey. Proceeds from the Mary Philbrook Award Celebration support public interest lawyering at Rutgers School of Law–Camden, including the Association for Public Interest Law Student Summer Grants, the Domestic Violence Program and clinical programs.

After serving as a trial and appellate court judge for 23 years and on the New Jersey Supreme Court for 12 years, Justice Long retired at the mandatory retirement age of 70 in March 2012. She now serves as counsel at Fox Rothschild where she devotes her efforts to assisting clients with ethics and appellate matters, corporate governance and governmental integrity investigations and to serving as a mediator in alternative dispute resolution matters.

Justice Long also devotes much of her time to public service issues. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct; the New Jersey Law Revision Commission and, serves on the Board of Legal Services of New Jersey and Centurion Ministries, a Princeton-based organization dedicated to finding justice for wrongly imprisoned and factually innocent individuals.

In addition, Justice Long was nominated to serve on the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1999 by Governor Christine Todd Whitman. She was confirmed by the state Senate for a second term and granted tenure in 2006. While she authored opinions on many important issues during her tenure, she is noted for her view on the death penalty, which she believes is impossible to apply rationally and consistently. She has been credited, with others, with informing the decision of the New Jersey Legislature to abolish the death penalty entirely in 2007, substituting life imprisonment without the possibility of parole as the applicable punishment.

A member of the New Jersey bar for more than 40 years, Justice Long has had a varied legal career. In addition to her role as NJ Supreme Court Justice, she previously served as Deputy Attorney General for the state of New Jersey, as Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and as Commissioner of the former New Jersey Department of Banking.

Justice Long received her B.A. from Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in 1963 and her J.D. from Rutgers Law School in 1966.