Retired Superior Court Assignment Judge Julio Mendez.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – Retired NJ Superior Court Assignment Judge Julio L. Mendez will work with Stockton University William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy in the coming year to engage students and participate in public programming centered around the law.

“The most important part of this for me is to work with and to inspire Stockton students,” Mendez said. “I want them to see how legal issues affect so many areas of the lives and careers of people, and not just lawyers.”

As a Senior Contributing Analyst for the Hughes Center, Mendez will produce written analyses and columns examining aspects of important issues of the day. His analyses will be published online by the center and be offered to New Jersey news outlets. His first piece about the conservative tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to be published later this month.

The judge will lead discussions with groups of students of all majors about issues they care about, and he will mentor pre-law students interested in a legal career.

“This collaboration will provide academic opportunities for students to learn from an expert who served at high levels in the state judiciary,” said Marissa Levy, dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, in which the Hughes Center operates.

Mendez will also participate in public programs and panel discussions aimed at educating students, faculty and South Jersey residents about trends and issues affecting government, the law and society.

“In a time of social change and volatility as we’re in today, we are pleased to have an experienced leader like Judge Mendez at Stockton to offer ethical and insightful guidance to our community,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said.

Working with the judge is appropriate for the Hughes Center because its namesake, the late Congressman and Ambassador William J. Hughes, was a lawyer and served as a prosecutor in Cape May County, the center’s director, John Froonjian said. The collaboration can raise the Hughes Center’s profile in the legal community, Froonjian said.

Judge Mendez’s judicial career began in 2002 with his appointment as a Superior Court judge in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. In June 2005, he was named Presiding Judge of the Family Part for that vicinage, which is a judicial district. He has the distinction of serving as a judge in all court divisions and handling all dockets, with 11 of his trial court opinions approved for publication.

NJ Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner designated Mendez as Assignment Judge, the top position in a court vicinage, in Atlantic and Cape May counties in November 2011. He served in that capacity until his retirement.

The many court committees on which Mendez served worked on issues including domestic violence, drug courts, municipal court reform, and children and family issues. Judicial recognitions he has received include the New Jersey State Bar Thurgood Marshall Award.

Judge Mendez received his juris doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law-Camden. He became a member of the New Jersey Bar in 1981.

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.