National Bar Association (NBA) past president Paulette Brown was sworn in Tuesday as president- elect of the American Bar Association becoming the first African American woman to assume the role.
Brown, a partner with the law firm of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, served as president of the National Bar Association in 1993. Among her many accomplishments was leading a delegation to monitor the first free and democratic elections in South Africa.
“Paulette Brown has distinguished herself for decades not only as an extremely talented and dedicated lawyer, but as an insightful, courageous and wise leader,” said Pamela Meanes, president of the National Bar Association. “She has served both the legal community and the African American community as an exceptional leader and has been a mentor to countless lawyers. Paulette has made a difference and I am certain she will serve the American Bar Association very, very well,” said Meanes.
Brown has held a number of positions throughout her career, including in-house counsel to several Fortune 500 companies and municipal court judges. For more than 20 years, she has focused her practice on labor and employment matters. She has successfully litigated a variety of employment matters, including class actions, sexual harassment, marital status, worker adjustment and retraining notification, race and age discrimination, and issues pertaining to the Family and Medical Leave Act. She is experienced in all aspects of workplace training and collective bargaining.
Brown is a past president of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey and served on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, where she co-authored the nationally acclaimed study, “Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms.” That project inspired her to form a group comprised of women of color associates in New Jersey to provide them with a safe environment to discuss issues affecting them in their firms.
Brown speaks and writes extensively on diversity issues and matters affecting women in the profession, not only inspiring those in power to provide opportunities to women lawyers, but also encouraging women lawyers to excel.
Recently, she received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Garden State Bar Association and by the National Law Journal as one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Attorneys in the United States” and by New Jersey Law Journal as one of the prominent women and minority attorneys in the state of New Jersey.