Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 44
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
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It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

LEGAL REPRESENTATION: “Whether you come knocking at my door, call me on the phone, or e-mail me, you will be dealing with me directly from start to finish to resolve your legal issues. My philosophy is based on the idea that I am the face of the business, and I am the one who is giving clients my full attention,” says attorney Alisandra B. Carnevale, who recently opened a family law practice in Pennington.

Alisandra B. Carnevale, Esq. Opens Practice Focusing on Family Law and Related Issues

Helping people has always been important to Alisandra Carnevale. Considering ways she could include this focus in a career, she decided on the law.

“I enjoy helping people solve problems,” says Ms. Carnevale. “I’m an analytical type of thinker and also a people person. I like to work directly with people.”

In addition, family means a lot to her, and her decision to open her family law practice in Pennington, at 32 North Main Street, stemmed from her desire to return to her roots and give back to her community.

The daughter of Princeton architect Nicholas Carnevale and Beth Carnevale, she is also the granddaughter of Raffaele and the late Filomina Carnevale, who emigrated to Princeton from Italy.

“My family is very important to me,” she explains. “I grew up with family values. My grandparents, father, and aunt came from Pettoranello, Italy (Princeton Township’s Sister City) in 1952. Things were hard in Italy after World War II, and they came here for more opportunities.”

Growing up in Princeton, Ms. Carnevale attended Villa Victoria Academy in Ewing, where she was active in theater and music. It was during her years there that she began to think of law as a profession.

Awards and Honors

An outstanding student, Ms. Carnevale excelled while at Lafayette College and Pace University School of Law. Graduating summa cum laude from Lafayette, she double-majored in history and anthropology/sociology. She was the recipient of numerous awards and honors (including Phi Beta Kappa), and wrote her honors thesis on “Shaping History through Folk Narrative: Pettoranello di Molise, Italia and Its Sister City, Princeton, N.J., U.S.A.”

This thesis has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and Ms. Carnevale is currently seeking a publisher. In addition, she presented a paper, “Tales from the Prince’s Bedroom: Shaping History through Folk Narrative, Pettoranello, Italy” at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, University of North Carolina in 2006. This paper is based on her honors thesis, and was selected for publication in Proceedings of the National Conference of Undergraduate Research.

Ms. Carnevale’s law school experience was equally distinguished. Working hard in law school is a given, and she was certainly up to the task, receiving several prominent scholarships and academic recognition.

As she points out, “When you are working toward a goal and focusing on the end result, it helps you to keep going when the work is hard.”

Many Issues

While at law school, during the summer of 2007, Ms. Carnevale served as a judicial intern for the Hon. Lewis J. Lubell, Supreme Court, Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains, N.Y. She conducted legal research, and drafted legal memoranda and opinions on matrimonial law issues. She also attended court proceedings and conferences.

The following year, she had an internship at a law firm, Farber, Pappalardo & Carbonari, in White Plains, where she worked on many issues, including matrimonial, family law, personal injury, estates, criminal, and bankruptcy law. She also conducted legal research, and drafted memoranda, summons and complaints, settlement demand letters, separation agreements, net worth statements, last will and testaments, living wills, and an appellate brief. Ms. Carnevale maintained extensive client contact, with attorney supervision, and attended court proceedings, and aided in preparation.

She also served as a volunteer for the Uncontested Divorce Project at the Pace Women’s Justice Center in White Plains. She assisted with client intake, and drafted and filed papers (including summons, complaints, and affidavits) needed to obtain an uncontested divorce in New York state for low income women.

After graduating cum laude in 2009, Ms. Carnevale served as law clerk for the Hon. Deborah J. Venezia, P.J.F.P. (Presiding Judge Family Part), Middlesex County, Vicinage, Superior Court, New Brunswick. She conducted legal research, and drafted memoranda, orders, tentative decisions, and opinions on matrimonial law issues. She also managed the motion calendar, and attended court proceedings and conferences.

Excellent Experience

As Ms. Carnevale points out, this was excellent experience. “Serving as a law clerk to a Superior Court Judge in New Jersey is very prestigious, as it gives you a vast array of experience that is invaluable and that you do not gain at a law firm. This is why I chose to clerk for a Family Judge, since I knew that was my main area of interest in the law and that I would gain the best experience.

“By clerking for a judge, I was able to observe the practice of law from the judicial perspective in that I could see both good and bad lawyering in paper submissions as well as in the courtroom. Law clerks undergo an experience that cannot be replicated working at a law firm. They are given a great amount of responsibility and workload, which includes not only legal research and writing but also courtroom observation, and handling scheduling, calendars, and phone calls that they are expected to oversee on a daily basis.”

Solo Practitioner

Ms. Carnevale is admitted to the bar both in New Jersey and in New York, and her extensive experience helped her decide to open a solo practice in Pennington.

“I always knew from a young age that whatever profession I chose, I wanted to work for myself, a model that I observed from my father and grandfather who have a strong work ethic and business sense. Therefore, I knew starting out at law school that my goal was to hang up my own shingle. After my clerkship, I felt confident that I was ready to go solo to help and serve my community. I wanted to be hands-on, working directly with clients. As a solo practitioner, you wear all the hats, and I like that. You have the business side, the legal side, and the people side. I like it that when someone calls, I am here to answer the phone.”

Ms. Carnevale’s practice consists of family law, including adoption, child custody, child support, paternity, spousal support/alimony, and other matters; also, divorce, wills, real estate, and municipal court issues — from traffic violations, to domestic violence, to shoplifting.

“As a solo practitioner lawyer, I strive to provide my clients with personalized attention in an effort to resolve their legal issues in a cost-effective and efficient manner,” observes Ms. Carnevale. “I am prepared to provide sound legal guidance and representation to help you navigate the legal process.”

She points out that listening carefully to clients is a major part of formulating a case. “I really try to listen. It’s important to have a keen ear and an open mind. Of course, it is necessary when a client comes in to determine if what they want is a viable course of action. I want to steer clients in the right direction.”

Ms. Carnevale adds that she is always open to attempting to resolve matters prior to trial in order to save clients time and expense, “but I am prepared to take a matter to trial if it is in the client’s best interest.”

She offers a free initial consultation, and looks forward to helping new clients. As she says, “I enjoy the opportunity to be able to have a positive impact on someone’s life.”

Ms. Carnevale is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and a member of the Mercer County Bar Association. Her hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (609) 737-3683. Website:

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