April 18, 2024

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Built General Tough

Diversity Initiative 2021: Melissa Martinez

While nurturing a rising bankruptcy and restructuring practice, Martinez remains a dedicated supporter and leader of Rutgers Law School’s DEI programming and efforts. She serves as a mentor for the minority student program (MSP), and regularly speaks on panels about the practice of law and the transition from law school to practice. She also helped establish MSP’s annual Paths to Practice event, which provides an opportunity for MSP students to engage and network with practicing attorneys. MSP Assistant Dean Rhasheda Douglas notes, “Despite her busy practice, Melissa consistently ensures that our law students are aware of important resources, such as the scholarships that are awarded by the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Bar Association.”

Since the beginning of her practice, Martinez has served as a board member and a leader in the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania (HBA-PA), and just completed a year as president of the HBA-PA’s Legal Education Fund (LEF), a sister organization dedicated to the advancement of Latinos in the legal profession through annual fundraising for law school scholarships in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Jacqueline Romero notes, “As former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, I have worked on many legal programs with Melissa over the years. During my tenure, she was instrumental in helping to double the donations made to the HBA’s LEF, resulting in a historic number of scholarships awarded to Latino law students. Melissa also assisted in reviving the HBA’s pipeline program with Latino law student organizations, helping the HBA improve our mentorship efforts and ensure the success of the next generation of lawyers.”