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Rutgers–Newark Law School Senior Assistant Dean Andrew Rothman Honored by NJ Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma

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Andrew J. Rothman, Senior Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, has received a 2011 Ambassador Award from the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma. The pressure of law school and the academic demands of the curriculum exacerbate mental health issues for many students. Consequences can range from anxiety-caused poor performance to self-destructive behavior. As a front-line dean counseling students on personal, academic and professional issues, Dean Rothman has made the mental health of Rutgers School of Law–Newark students a top priority. 

“Dean Rothman works hard to ensure that he services all of our students in this important area through programming and individual counseling,” stated Fran Bouchoux, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Services. “Without his sensitive and wise counsel, many of the students suffering from mental health issues would have withdrawn from law school and abandoned their dreams of a professional career.”

One graduate of the law school, in supporting Dean Rothman’s nomination for an Ambassador Award, cited the “profound kindness, compassion and respect” that he demonstrates towards students struggling with mental health issues. Describing a period of severe depression experienced as a law student, the Rutgers graduate, now a practicing attorney, wrote: “On those days, Dean Rothman’s compassion and kindness did nothing short of keep me alive until the despair lifted enough for me to find my way out of darkness.”

Dean Bouchoux noted that, besides his “significant and positive impact on many of our students,” Dean Rothman “has sensitized the entire law school community to the issues surrounding mental health and the role we can play in helping students achieve their professional goals as they face these issues.”

In addition to serving as the primary law school administrator counseling students who are coping with mental health issues, Dean Rothman serves on several Rutgers–Newark committees that focus on the mental well-being of students campus-wide and on raising awareness throughout the university community about mental health issues. These committees include the Threat Assessment Team, the Chancellor’s Task Force on Students With Disabilities, the University Alcohol Policy Committee, the Committee on Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Students Task Force.

Dean Rothman received his B.A. from Yale, his M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law–Newark. He has almost 30 years of teaching experience in both the fine arts and law and more than 25 years’ experience in education administration. He practiced law at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith, Raven & Davis LLP, Goldstein Lite & DePalma, and Goldstein Lem, LLC. He joined the law school as an Assistant Dean in 1996. He teaches courses in Advanced Contracts, Appellate Advocacy, Evidence, New Jersey Practice, Non-Profit Corporations, and Professional Responsibility. Dean Rothman is co-author of The Handbook of Civil Practice in the Courts of New Jersey and serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Civil Practice Committee.