LAWRENCEVILLE – Rider University’s Law and Justice Program honored ACLU-NJ Executive Director Udi Ofer on Oct. 29 for his contributions to expanding and defending civil liberties. The award is given annually to a person or organization who Rider believes exemplifies the values and qualities the school would like students to emulate as they pursue careers in law-related fields.
Previous honorees include the Honorable Deborah T. Poritz, former chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, Amnesty International USA and Patrick Budd, executive director of New Jersey Legal Services.
“I am honored to receive this distinguished award,” said Ofer. “New Jersey is a fertile battleground for a number of pressing civil rights issues and I am thrilled to play a role in moving freedom forward for all residents in the Garden State.”
Ofer delivered the 18th annual Distinguished Contributions to Law & Justice Award Lecture today at Rider University. The title of the lecture was, “50 Years After the Dream: The Struggle for Equality Continues.”
Ofer joined the ACLU of New Jersey in February. Under his leadership, the ACLU-NJ was one of the founding organizations of the coalition, New Jersey United for Marriage, which fought to bring marriage equality to New Jersey. The ACLU-NJ has also successfully advocated for increased transparency in stop-and-frisk practices by the Newark Police Department, and for greater protections of immigrants’ rights in Newark.
Before joining the ACLU-NJ, he was the director of advocacy for the New York Civil Liberties Union, where he led successful campaigns in areas such as police accountability, racial justice and students’ rights. In 2004, the New York City Council honored Ofer for his outstanding service to the city.
Ofer graduated from Fordham University School of Law and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He began his legal career as a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney representing domestic violence victims. From 2010-2012, he was an adjunct professor at New York Law School. In 2007, he received the “Distinguished Graduate Award” from Fordham Law School.