Brown named new president of ABA

Paulette Brown, a labor and employment law partner and co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at Locke Lord LLP in Morristown, N.J., is the new president of the American Bar Association, the first woman of color to hold this position. She will serve  until August 2016.

Brown plans to  highlight the value of the ABA by reaching out to lawyers and communities across the country. She is also organizing And Justice for All: An ABA Day of Service on Oct. 30, to mobilize  lawyers to volunteer legal services to those on the economic margins.

A new Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360 will review and analyze diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, the judicial system and the ABA with a goal of developing sustainable action plans.

Brown has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1997 and is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and its Executive Committee as well as the Governance Commission.  While serving on the Board of Governors, she chaired its Program, Planning and Evaluation Committee. She has served on the Commission on Women in the Profession and was a co-author of “Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms.” Brown also chaired the ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice (now Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice) and is a past co-chair of the Commission on Civic Education in our Nation’s Schools. Brown served on the Section of Legal Education’s Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its Executive Committee. She is a former member of The Fund for Justice and Education and the FJE President’s Club, and is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Brown has served as in-house counsel to several Fortune 500 companies and as a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has focused on  labor and employment and commercial litigation.

Brown has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” and by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the “prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey.” She has received the New Jersey Medal from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and currently serves on its Board of Trustees.

Brown has repeatedly been named as a New Jersey Super Lawyer and by U.S. News as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation. In 2009, she was a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. In 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Brown earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.A. at Howard University.

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