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NJSBA Young Lawyers Division Announces 2023 Annual Awards

April 12, 2023
Contact: Thomas Nobile
Director of Communications
Tel: 732-937-7527
NEW BRUNSWICK – The Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey State Bar Association presents annual awards for Service to the Community, Service to the Bar, Professional Achievement and Young Lawyer of the Year. The Division will present the awards at the NJSBA 2023 Annual Meeting and Convention in May. The award recipients are as follows:
Service to the Community- Recipient, Robert Holup, Esq.
About the Award: Young lawyers who have devoted substantial time and energy to community-oriented activities such as pro bono work, government service, charity involvement, or other public service over the past year are candidates for the Service to the Community award. This years’ service to the Community award is presented to Robert Holup. 
Robert’s desire to serve our community is unmatched. As the current Co-Chair of the Philanthropy Committee, he has established a strong relationship between the YLD and MEND. MEND supplies fresh and nutritious food to its network of 22 member food pantries around Essex County.  
For the past three years, Robert has enjoyed organizing in-person volunteer events with MEND – whether it be supporting their mobile farmers markets or working in their warehouse during the Thanksgiving holiday. In November 2022, for example, not only did YLDers staff one of MEND’s mobile farmers markets at the Urban League in Newark for approximately 200 people, under Robert’s leadership, the YLD also collected and donated 250 lbs. of non-perishable food and raised approximately $450.00.
Robert also organized another in-person volunteer event with the YLD at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey’s warehouse alongside The Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey to pack food boxes for seniors in need.  
Service to the Bar- Recipient: Brandon Lee Wolff, Esq.  
About the Award: Nominees for the Service to the Bar category should be young lawyers who dedicated considerable volunteer time to bar activities at the county, state, and/or national level, including specialty and minority bars, over the past year. This year’s recipient is Brandon Lee Wolff.
Outside of the office, Brandon is one of the most involved associates as can be seen from his leadership positions within the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and New Jersey State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. In New Jersey, Brandon is the current Treasurer and has been the ABA Representative for the New Jersey State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.
Brandon has represented young lawyers on CLE panels and has also welcomed new attorneys to the bar at NJSBA’s New Attorney Day and has recruited new members who have since joined the NJSBA YLD Executive Committee. 
As chair of the YLD Membership Committee, he helped organize the effort to reach out to new members during YLD Executive Committee meetings and social events. Outside of the Membership Committee, Brandon has been an active member of the Bylaws, Long-Range Planning, Mentoring, Social and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committees and Nominating Committees. In addition to the NJSBA YLD, Brandon has represented New Jersey in the ABA Young Lawyers Division.  
Brandon was recognized as an ABA On the Rise Top 40 Young Lawyer. He was the first (and until recently) the only young lawyer from New Jersey (out of 280 recipients over the last seven years) to ever be recognized as an ABA On the Rise Top 40 Young Lawyer. 
Brandon was also elected for a two-year term as ABA YLD Treasurer. He is the only young lawyer from New Jersey to serve in this position and is the first young lawyer from New Jersey in many years to serve as an ABA YLD officer. 
As the District Representative for New Jersey in the ABA YLD Council, Brandon set the goal of working with another district representative to expand the definition of a young lawyer from the first five years of practice to the first ten years of practice. Brandon was inspired to work on this resolution by a New Jersey YLD member who was not able to fully participate in the ABA YLD because of different age eligibility definitions between New Jersey and the ABA.
Brandon also worked on drafting three additional resolutions which passed the ABA YLD Assembly. These resolutions focused on encouraging legal employers to allow attorneys time to “unplug” from work, to allow flexible work arrangements and to provide billable hour credit for time attorneys spend on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and service to bar associations. Brandon has also spoken on behalf of a resolution at the ABA YLD Assembly which encouraged legal employers to diversify their hiring committees. 
Professional Achievement- Recipient, Cory Rothbort, Esq.
About the Award: The Professional Achievement award acknowledges a young lawyer who has had significant professional accomplishments during the past year. This can include publications, demonstrated excellence in a particular area of law, a significant verdict or law-changing appellate or Supreme Court decision, or other such professional achievement. Cory Rothbort, Esq. is this year’s recipient of the Professional Achievement Award.
Cory secured a $10 million settlement for Xavier Ingram. The settlement comes on the heels of a mistrial declared in March after more than two-week civil trial in Camden federal court over the incident that left Ingram a quadriplegic. Ingram contends that he fell while running from police and that three officers beat him and broke his neck which caused paralysis from the neck down. The payment is believed to be the largest policy brutality settlement in New Jersey, and among the largest in U.S. History. 
Young Lawyer of the Year- Recipient, Leonard V. Jones, Esq. 
About the Award: The Young Lawyer of the Year Award is presented to a young lawyer whose combined personal and professional achievements over the past year merit special recognition, who has made significant community and public service contributions and, additionally, has actively participated in the organized bar. This young lawyer must be a stand-out in the areas of professional knowledge, skill, integrity and courtesy. Leonard V. Jones, Esquire and his phenomenal contributions to the Bar have earned him the designation as the 2023 Young Lawyer of the Year.
Leonard currently serves as a Young Lawyer trustee for the Union County Bar Association and as the North Jersey Director for the Garden State Bar Association. He is deeply involved in various sections and committees of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Leonard has distinguished himself as a leader in the legal profession in New Jersey by showing commitment and dedication to excellence in the practice of law, diversity in the law, and addressing the issues facing New Jersey lawyers. His service to the legal profession and advocacy on behalf of underrepresented groups is at the core of who he is.
Leonard played a key role in planning the 2023 Diversity Summit, organized the 2022 Juneteenth Celebration and the 2023 Black History Month Celebration for which he raised close to $10k in sponsorship, the highest in recent history, and where approximately 100 people were in attendance.
In addition to his impressive service through the organized Bar, Leonard is also a zealous advocate as he has had numerous Title 59 and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination matters dismissed by way of summary judgment motion as a member of the law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, where his practice focuses on Labor, Employment, Benefits and Immigration.

Contact: NJSBA Communications Department
Tel: 732-937-7527
Email: [email protected]


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