Paulette Brown to be First African-American Female President of the American Bar Association

Paulette Brown became the first African-American woman to assume the title of president-elect of the American Bar Association at the Association’s annual meeting in Boston on August 12. She will become ABA president in August 2015. Among other leadership roles, she is a past president of the National Bar Association and the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey. While a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, she co-authored the study, Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms. She is a partner with the law firm of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. To learn more about Paulette Brown, click here.

2014 NAWL Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon, Early Bird Pricing Ends May 31

The National Association of Women Lawyers’ annual meeting and awards luncheon will take place at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel on July 24. The day’s jam-packed agenda begins with a breakfast at 7:00 am and ends with an evening reception. An awards luncheon will honor several notable individuals as well as the Honeywell Corporation. Click here for a complete list of honorees. Cost of the full program, which includes NAWL membership, is $425 until May 31, but there are reduced price categories at various levels. Click here for more information about prices.

New Jersey Women Lawyers Association Announces 2014 Grants

The New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA) was formed in 1981 to promote the retention and advancement of women in the legal profession. NJWLA has grown from a handful of members to more than 1,000 members. NJWLA advocates for the appointment of female judicial candidates and screens and endorses female judicial candidates. NJWLA holds numerous educational and networking events throughout the year for its members. Each spring the WILL Platinum Gala honors women from the private, public and judicial sectors of the profession who work to advance women in the legal profession.

NJWLA is currently accepting Grant Applications for programs that research, develop, and/or implement solutions, strategies and initiatives to: 1) support and promote women lawyers to the highest levels of law firm, government, academic, community and corporate positions and the judiciary; 2) engage in statewide and/or nationwide efforts designed to retain women in the legal profession, including through providing education; 3) remove barriers to women’s entry and advancement in the legal profession; 4) develop and promote women leaders, role models and mentors in the legal profession; 5) educate the legal profession and general public about gender equity concerns and issues related to the legal profession; 6) provide a voice for women, including in shaping legislation of importance to women; and 7) encourage women to attend law school.

The total amount of Grant availability will be $45,000. There is no dollar limit on the amount an organization may apply for; however, NJWLA anticipates that it will award multiple grants in 2014 from this amount.


Applicants must be a nonprofit, federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization (nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies are eligible to apply). Applications must be submitted in English.


  • A program must be specific to the mission and purpose of NJWLA
  • Salaries, if requested, must be for personnel directly related to this program only and not general work of applicant. These salaries must also be in line with nonprofit salaries and should not include a component for fringe benefits.

Agreement and Grant Period:
All grants are conditioned on Grantee’s acceptance and execution of a Grant Agreement. The Grant Cycle is February 1, 2014, through January 30, 2015.

Payments and Reporting:
Grant awards will be made in two (2) payments, if warranted. The first payment will be made upon receipt of a fully executed Grant Agreement. The second payment, if warranted, will be made after NJWLA receives and accepts the six (6) month Progress Report, which is due on July 31, 2014. A final report is also required within thirty (30) days of the completion of the Grant Cycle.

Confirmation of Receipt of Applications:
NJWLA will send email notification to the Contact Person indicated on the Grant Application confirming receipt of an application. If your application contains very minor compliance deficiencies, you may be notified and asked to correct the deficiencies in a prescribed timeframe.

Announcement of Grant Awards:
The NJWLA will announce the grant awards by February 2014. All recipients will receive written notification. Applicants that are awarded funding will be featured in the Gala Program for the 2014 NJWLA WILL Platinum Gala. Grant recipients are strongly recommended to attend the 2015 NJWLA WILL Platinum Gala as guests of the Association, and, if requested, provide a summary of grant outcomes.

2014 Grant Application
2014 Grant Agreement

Colleen Skinner, Executive Director New Jersey Women Lawyers Association 633 Franklin Avenue, PMB #118
Nutley, NJ 07110.


5:00 P.M. on DECEMBER 6, 2013.

Applications that do not follow this format will not be considered for funding.

Women, the Judiciary and Transformation in South Africa

While leaders of women’s bar associations were meeting in San Francisco this August for our annual Summit, a similar conference was being held in South Africa, focusing on the role of women lawyers and the advancement of justice.  See page 11 of the October issue of De Rebus for a report on that meeting.

Marriage Equality

The NCWBA celebrates marriage equality today noting the historic rulings by the United States Supreme Court in the United States v. Windsor finding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and in Hollingsworth v. Perry effectively permitting gay marriage in California.  The NCWBA applauds the civil rights of all being respected and upheld.

White House Briefing on the Judicial Vacancy Crisis

NCWBA President-Elect Andrea Carlise and Immediate Past President Cezy Collins were among the advocates from around the country who gathered this week for a White House briefing on vacancies on the Federal bench.  For information on what women’s bar associations can do to encourage diversity in the courts, click here.


Andrea Carlise and Cezy Collins in White House Rose Garden.

President-Elect Andrea Carlise and Immediate Past President Cezy Collins in the Rose Garden.


Local Bar Association Develops Women-Focused Programming

Here’s an item from the most recent newsletter of the National Association of Bar Executives:
CLE gives women a chance to learn, network

A CLE program centered on issues of concern to female attorneys has been very successful for the Lafayette (LA) Bar Association, and is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

The “Running in Heels Women’s CLE” offers both practical programs of concern to women, and a networking opportunity, said Claire Oliver, LBA marketing director.

“We want to get women into a group so they can meet and compare lifestyles” and figure out how the other women deal with typical life and career situations, Oliver said.

While most speakers are women, last year’s program featured a panel of male attorneys who spoke about obstacles women might face, and suggestions on how to deal with them.

Topics for this year include:

• Put your best foot forward: Women & Negotiation Skills;
• Keeping your feet on the ground: Thoughts on Success and Work/Life Balance from Professional Women.

Jane Kelly Confirmed as Second Woman Judge on the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

Jane Kelly, an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Iowa, has been nominated by President Obama to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. If she is confirmed, she would be only the second woman to serve as a judge in the Eighth Circuit.

Click here for the National Women’s Law Center post about the nomination.

For information about the efforts to increase the number of women judges in the Eighth Circuit, see The Infinity Project.

Work-Life Balance, a Fraud?

More on the topic of Work-Life Balance–click here for a podcast of a discussion with lawyers Andrea Carlise, Shayna Steinfeld and Melinda LeMoine of the difficult issues of balancing a career in the law with a personal life.  .

National Equal Pay Day Presidential Proclamation


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Over the past 4 years, the American people have come together to lift our economy out of recession and forge a foundation for lasting prosperity. Our businesses have created millions of new jobs, our stock market is rebounding, and our housing market has begun to heal. But even now, too many Americans are seeing their hard work go unrewarded because of circumstances beyond their control. Women — who make up nearly half of our Nation’s workforce — face a pay gap that means they earn 23 percent less on average than men do. That disparity is even greater for African-American women and Latinas. On National Equal Pay Day, we recognize this injustice by marking how far into the new year women have to work just to make what men did in the previous one.

Wage inequality undermines the promise of fairness and opportunity upon which our country was founded. For families trying to make ends meet, that gap can also mean the difference between falling behind and getting ahead. When working mothers make less than their male counterparts, they have less to spend on basic necessities like child care, groceries, and rent. Small businesses see fewer customers walk through their doors. Tuition payments get harder to afford, and rungs on the ladder of opportunity get farther apart. And just as diminished wages shortchange families, they slow our entire economy — weakening growth here at home and eroding American competitiveness abroad.

To grow our middle class and spur progress in the years ahead, we need to address longstanding inequity that keeps women from earning a living equal to their efforts. That is why I have made pay equity a top priority — from signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act days after I took office to cracking down on equal pay law violations wherever they occur. And to back our belief in equality with the weight of law, I continue to call on the Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Our country has come a long way toward ensuring everyone gets a fair shot at opportunity, no matter who you are or where you come from. But our journey will not be complete until our mothers, our wives, our sisters, and our daughters are treated equally in the workplace and always see an honest day’s work rewarded with honest wages. Today, let us renew that vision for ourselves and for our children, and let us rededicate ourselves to realizing it in the days ahead.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 9, 2013, as National Equal Pay Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize the full value of women’s skills and their significant contributions to the labor force, acknowledge the injustice of wage inequality, and join efforts to achieve equal pay.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.