Immigration Law Advocates Honored

Immigration Law Advocates Honored Two prominent regional legal advocates for immigrants have been selected to receive the 2004 Mary Philbrook Award from the Women's Law Caucus at the Rutgers University School of Law at Camden.

Judith Bernstein-Baker, executive director of the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society and Council in Philadelphia, and Carole A. Wood, immigration coordinator of the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice, will receive their awards during a special ceremony and reception on the Rutgers-Camden campus from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28.

The award, named after the first woman admitted to the New Jersey Bar, recognizes the achievements of a leading advocate for civil rights, social justice and equality. Additionally, Philbrook is remembered for her instrumental role in establishing New Jersey's first legal aid society.

The daughter of a Jewish immigrant who fled Poland to avoid persecution, Bernstein-Baker began her career as a social worker organizing communities to improve neighborhoods. After obtaining her law degree from Temple University, she served as counsel to the Support Center for Child Advocates and later founded Penn Law School's Public Service Program, which directs law students to public service and is now a national model. At HIAS and Council she provides critical leadership in the immigration community, and has done important legal work in many forums. She is a resident of the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.

Wood, a leader in providing legal services to impoverished immigrants, began her immigration work as a VISTA volunteer after graduating from Chicago-Kent College of Law. As supervising immigration attorney at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, she represented many clients, trained attorneys, and provided counsel to community groups. She recently assisted U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D.-NJ) on such matters as restructuring immigration casework and convincing the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services to add an office in southern New Jersey. At the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice, Wood trains attorneys, represents clients, and supervises students at the Rutgers Immigration Pro Bono Project. She resides in Haddonfield.

Registration for the Philbrook Award ceremony and reception is $45, which will help support pro bono and service programs offered by the Rutgers-Camden law school. The event will be held in the Campus Center, located on Third Street, between Cooper Street and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge on the Rutgers-Camden campus.

For more information about the Philbrook Award ceremony and reception, contact Eve Biskind Klothen, assistant dean at the Rutgers University School of Law at Camden, at (856) 225-6608 or

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Author: Press Release-Rutgers


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