Joseph H. Rodriguez, senior district judge, is the first Latino judge of New Jersey’s U.S. District Court. Before his appointment to the bench, he served as New Jersey’s public advocate and public defender. He began his law career with the Westmont firm of Brown and Connery, where he remained a partner until 1982. A lecturer for the Professional Trial Lawyers Seminar since 1969, he also served as an instructor at Rutgers’ School of Law–Camden. Rodriguez served on the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates from 1984–86 and chaired the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges from 1995–96. From 1993–2001, he served on the Judicial Conference Committee of the judicial branch of the United States. He is a former president of the New Jersey Bar Association and a judicial fellow of both the International Society of Barristers and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has chaired the State Commission of Investigation and the New Jersey Board of Higher Education. His accolades include the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey Bar Award, the National Hispanic Bar Association Man of the Year Award, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Medal of Honor, and the Camden Law Alumni Association Armitage Award.