Yolanda Melville Elected National President of NAACP NextGen

ATLANTIC CITY — Yolanda Melville, Esquire, the Legal Redress Officer for the Atlantic City NAACP Branch and National NAACP Legal Committee member, was elected national president of the NAACP’s Next Generation Alumni Leadership Council.

Melville, an attorney at Cooper Levenson in Atlantic City, was selected at the recent NAACP national convention in Detroit this summer. Melville was a member of the inaugural NAACP NextGen Young Professional Leadership Program comprised of 68 leaders ages 21 through 35, from 29 states.

The NextGen Leadership Program is designed to train and develop future leaders to serve the NAACP.

READ: Ashley Bennett, Samantha Whitfield Among 2019 NAACP NextGen Class

“Yolanda is an intelligent, compassionate, and focused leader who uses her legal talents to strive for equality and justice for all people,” Kaleem Shabazz, president of the Atlantic City NAACP and a city council with Atlantic City.

“The Atlantic City Branch has realized what Yolanda’s peers from across the nation have come to learn.  Yolanda is a sure bet for a leader who is energetic and goal-oriented,” he added.

Melville will serve a two-year term as an elected officer.

READ: Yolanda Melville Establishes Roots, Activism in Atlantic City

Participants complete a rigorous training program, including classroom trainings, webinar trainings, case studies, group assignments and special projects on leadership fundamentals, political action, economic empowerment, criminal justice, environmental justice, health advocacy, budgeting, fundraising, technology and direct action.

The NAACP said that NextGen participants are civically engaged young professionals committed to equality and social justice.

Jennifer Swift Joins Cooper Levenson

Jennifer Swift has joined the Appeals and Research Practice Group at Cooper Levenson. She will be based in the firm’s Atlantic City office.

Swift comes to Cooper Levenson from the Swift Law Firm, where she practiced for more than 10 years in the areas of appeals and post-conviction relief. These included appeals for the Office of the Public Defender—Appellate Section and Office of Parental Representation—Appellate, civil appeals; and research, writing, and consultation for criminal litigation, small business matters and defense litigation. In addition, Swift has practiced in the areas of clergy sexual abuse and medical malpractice.

She served as a Judicial Clerk for the Hon. Steven Z. Kleiner, J.A.D., N.J. Superior Court, Appellate Division, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Swift also was an Adjunct Professor at Stockton University, where she taught “Argument and Persuasion in the Social Sciences.”

Swift resides in Margate, N.J. She holds a J.D. degree from Rutgers Law School, and a B.A. degree in United States History from the University of Michigan.

Cooper Levenson is a full-service law firm since 1957, with 75 attorneys and offices in New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada and Florida.

Alexandra rigden joins cooper levenson.

Atlantic City, N.J. April 29, 2016 – Attorney Alexandra Rigden has joined the Family Law Practice Group at Cooper Levenson. Based in the firm’s Cherry Hill office, Rigden is an associate who will practice all aspects of family law including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, DCPP (DYFS) and other matters.


“Alexandra is both knowledgeable and passionate about family law,” said Kenneth J. Calemmo, chief operating officer of Cooper Levenson.


Prior to joining the firm, she spent more than three years practicing exclusively family law at a South Jersey firm.


Rigden previously clerked for The Honorable M. Patricia Richmond, J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County. In addition to her duties as a law clerk, Alexandra mediated landlord/tenant and small claims cases. She also completed a Domestic Violence Training Clinic and formerly volunteered as a pro bono attorney for New Jersey Legal Services. Rigden serves as an Associate Editor of the New Jersey Family Lawyer.


She is active in the community and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She resides in Burlington County, N.J.


Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with 70 attorneys and New Jersey offices in Atlantic City and Cherry Hill. The firm has regional offices in Bear, Del., and Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, visit www.cooperlevenson.com

Does More Wedding Day Spending Mean A Greater Chance Of Divorce?

While a wedding is certainly a cause for celebration, it can also be a cause of financial stress. That’s because many couples end up spending considerable money for their walk down the aisle with the largest sums often going towards engagement rings and the ceremony itself.

Interestingly enough, a recently released study by economics professors at Emory University made some eye-opening findings concerning how these wedding-related expenditures might affect the longevity of a marriage.

Through a survey of 3,000 adults who had been married at some point in their lives, the researchers discovered that those respondents who spent more on their engagement rings and/or wedding ceremonies were more likely to see their marriages end in divorce.

Breaking the numbers down, they determined the following:

  • The divorce rate among men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on engagement rings was 1.3 times higher than men who spent between $500 and $2,000 on engagement rings.
  • The divorce rate among women whose ceremonies cost $20,000 or more was 3.5 times higher than women who spent between $5,000 and $10,000 on ceremonies.
  • The divorce rate among those couples who spent $1,000 or less on a wedding ceremony was significantly lower, while the divorce rate among those couples who spent less than $500 on engagement rings was significantly higher.

What’s behind these rather surprising findings?

The professors theorize that spending such vast sums of money on wedding-related expenses can cause a significant amount of financial anxiety, which, in turn, can put unnecessary strain on the marriage at some point in time.

As for the cause of the phenomenon of engaged couples spending beyond their means, the professors point the finger squarely at the wedding industry, which they say has created a new standard of “more is better.”

Regardless of the reasons why a person chooses to legally dissolve their marriage, it’s important for them to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to ensure that they understand the process, and have a strong advocate by their side to handle important issues like property division, child custody, child support, and alimony.

Source: The Huffington Post, “What the cost of your engagement ring may say about your marriage,” Taryn Hillin, Oct. 14, 2014