Fall 2014 Newsletter

In This IssueMember News

Members Spotlight

NJWLA Scholarship Application

NJWLA Grant Applications

Feature Article: Lean In II

Installation Dinner

NJWLA & ECBF Golf Outing

Fall Kick Off Cocktail Party

Upcoming Events

Message From the President

Member News

Jessica Stein Allen, received the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award at this year’s New Jersey Commission on Professionalism In The Law Awards Luncheon.

Board Member,
Christine V. Bator,
has been appointed by the Supreme Court as an attorney member of the District VII Fee Arbitration Committee.

Executive Board Member,
Carmen M . Garcia,
has been appointed by ABA President-Elect, William C. Hubbard, to serve as a liaison to the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services for a one year term. The Commission will engage the profession and public in fresh thinking about the formidable challenges facing the delivery of legal services to the public.

Board Member,
Irina Elgart,
has been selected for an Equal Justice Medal for extraordinary pro bono contributions to Legal Services of New Jersey.

Congratulations to Board Member,
Sharmila Jaipersaud,
and Members,
Mary W. Browning, Alychia L. Buchan,
Sandra C. Fava,
Laurajane B. Kastner, Deborah A. Kelly,
Ellen S. Knarr,
Jennifer Passannante,
Adelaide Riggi,
Loly G. Tor and
Margaret O’Rourke Wood
on being selected as the New Jersey Law Journal’s “2014 New Leaders of the Bar.” View the complete list Here.

Board Member,
Tanya Mascarich,
was quoted in a Law360 article titled “7 Habits Of Highly Effective Associates.” You can find the article Here.

Board Member,
Jemi Lucey,
gave birth to her second daughter, Fiona Jacqueline in September.

Mommy and baby are doing great!


Have you recently …

Won a summary judgment motion?

Closed a big deal?

Tried your first case?

Started a new job?

Had a baby?

Earned a promotion?

Returned to the workforce?

Celebrated 10, 20, 25, etc. years as a lawyer?

Been named a Rising Star or SuperLawyer in your field?

Whatever your good news is, we want you to share your success! Please email njwlacomm@gmail.com with any details you would like to be included in our next NJWLA newsletter


Member Spotlight

Do you want to be featured in our Member Spotlight Section?

Please submit your story and photo to


for consideration.

NJWLA Scholarship

NJWLA has established a scholarship program to benefit students who are pursuing juris doctorate degrees. In 2015, NJWLA intends to award grants of $5,000 each, to one student from each of New Jersey’s law schools: Rutgers University Law School – Camden; Rutgers University Law School – Newark; and Seton Hall University Law School.

In order to qualify, each nominee must be a matriculating law school student who:
Has completed at least twelve (12) credits at the time of application; Is carrying a minimum of six (6) credits per term; and
Has been recommended by a professor, an instructor, an adjunct faculty member, a clinical instructor, a Dean, a Director of their law school or has been recommended by a lawyer or a judge (either needs to have at least ten (10) years experience) with whom you have worked (1) as a clerk or intern for at least three (3) months during the past two (2) years.


In addition to these requirements, applicants will be judged according to their commitment and dedication to their law school and the practice of law as well as his/her essay.
Scholarship awards may be used for tuition, fees, books, and personal expenses, and are given directly to the students.
Applicants who work for companies that offer tuition reimbursement are eligible to apply.

Scholarship application forms are mailed to Deans of New Jersey’s three law schools and are also available on our website at www.njwla.org.
All applications must be received by January 9, 2015 at 5:00 pm. No exceptions.
All winners are expected to attend the NJWLA Gala on March 24, 2015 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, at which event they will be recognized.
Incomplete applications and/or applications postmarked and/or received after the deadline WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
There will be no exceptions.


Multiple reviewers will review each application. Your application package must contain one (1) original of your:
Essay. Application and Essay may be submitted by mail or by email in pdf format to cskinner@njwla.org and mschaap@wolffsamson.com

Letter of recommendation
Law school transcript (first year students should submit undergraduate transcript)
(Letter of recommendation and transcript must be original and must be mailed to the postal address below.)


January 9, 2015 5:00 pm – Deadline for submission to ARRIVE at

NJWLA Mailbox:

633 Franklin Avenue,

PMB # 118,


New Jersey 07110.

February 2015 – All candidates and Deans will be notified of the outcome of the application review.
The scholarships will be awarded on March 24, 2015 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, NJ. Winners are expected to attend. This is a truly inspirational evening not to be missed.

Download the NJWLA Scholarship Application forms Here.


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 $25,000. There is no dollar limit on the amount an organization may apply for; however, NJWLA anticipates that it will award multiple grants in 2015 from this amount.

The NJWLA Grant Application can be found Here.

November 2014

Featured Article

Second Installment
of “Lean In” Panel Series Draws Another Record Turnout

October 7, 2014

Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Basking Ridge, NJ – Over 120 Female Attorneys attended the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association’s second “Lean In” Panel presented by the Best Practices Committee at the Olde Mill Inn on October 7, 2014. The event — which followed up and expanded upon issues raised during an earlier February 2014 event that also involved more than 100 women attorneys from around the State — included networking opportunities and a thought-provoking discussion of career questions that have been highlighted in the book, Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg.

A networking cocktail reception was followed by an introduction of the panel by event organizer, Nicole Bearce and her Best Practices co-chairs Michele Haas and Laura Conway. The panelists and discussion leaders also featured The Honorable Helen E. Hoens (retired); The Honorable Jennifer Velez, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services; Karen Sheehan, Associate General Counsel, Corporate & Assistant Secretary at Church & Dwight, Co., Inc.; Christine Stearns, Vice President, Health & Legal Affairs at the New Jersey Business & Industry Association; NJWLA President Randi Kochman; and Past NJWLA Presidents Wendy Lario and Galit Keirkut. After the panel’s opening remarks and Justice Hoens’ inspiring presentation to all of the attendees, the participants engaged in smaller break-out sessions further delving into specific points raised in the book. Each break-out group then reported back to the larger group with key findings from their discussion. A list of these key findings as well as other pearls of wisdom from the event are available on the @NJWLA twitter feed. The event was generously sponsored by Lowenstein Sandler.

Installation Dinner

July 9, 2014

Pleasantdale Chateau

West Orange, New Jersey

Approximately sixty NJWLA executive board members and committee chairpeople gathered at The Pleasantdale Chateau on July 9th for the annual NJWLA Board Installation Dinner.

Kirsten Scheurer Branigan, Past President, offered the opening remarks recounting the revitalization of the NJWLA nearly a decade ago. She was followed by The Honorable Judge Lois Goodman, USMJ, who swore in the members of the Board.

President, Randi Kochman, also addressed attendees about her vision for the upcoming year. Kochman began by celebrating NJWLA’s achievements and highlighting the progress female attorneys have made in New Jersey, but stressed that the NJWLA’s work is far from over. Her plan to further the NJWLA mission includes raising NJWLA’s “clout” and ensuring NJWLA has a voice regarding all topics affecting female lawyers in New Jersey as well as diversifying membership in terms of geographic location, practice type, ethnicity, race and age. She plans to facilitate research in our state to assist in determining the reasons why female attorneys still make up only 17% of firm equity partners and a minority of general counsel and high-level government roles, despite entering law school at the same rate as male attorneys. Kochman also stressed the importance of implementing the NJWLA’s newly-developed strategic plan and announced the appointment of “Vision Leaders” who will work with association committees to ensure programming and related efforts are aimed at reaching and measuring long-term and short-term goals and furthering the Association’s mission.

Golf Outing

July 17, 2014

Cedar Hill Country Club



Livingston, New Jersey – Over 80 women attended the 3rd Annual Fore Ladies Only Golf Outing at the beautiful Cedar Hill Golf and Country Club. The event is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association and the Essex County Bar Foundation. Guests enjoyed a luncheon reception followed by a golf clinic with 9 holes or full 18 hole course, a cocktail and dinner reception along with raffles, prizes and giveaways.

Since its inception in 2011, The NJWLA & ECBF “Fore Ladies Only” Golf Outing and Clinic has always been more than a day of golf and networking. The attendees have enjoyed more than putting, driving, chipping and course etiquette. Each year, these female attorneys provide a deserving women’s organization with support, funding and a platform to express the organization’s story and mission.

This year’s awards reception included a presentation by Lauren Hout, a Legislative Liaison from the Displaced Homemakers Network of New Jersey. The DHN currently has 15 programs in place designed to assist women who have to re-enter the workforce for any number of reasons including divorce, separation, or death or disability of a spouse. DHN’s goal is to help its clients become economically self-sufficient by providing education, job readiness training, networking, outreach, referrals and emotional support. NJWLA and ECBF were able to present this year’s charitable partner with a donation and another room full of women eager to learn more about the organization and ways that they can work together.
NJWLA and ECBF are eager to work together to make the Fore Ladies Only Golf outing better each year and are extremely grateful to their sponsors and supporters for assisting in making this event such a great success each year.

Fall Kickoff Cocktail Party

September 10th, 2014

McLoone’s Boat House

Upcoming Events


A Night with Helen Wan

November 11, 2014

Hilton Woodbridge
at MetroPark

Iselin, NJ


Non Members

*price includes copy of
The Partner Track

Register Here!

Generously Sponsored by

NJWLA Young Lawyers Division Presents

Building A Confident Lawyer

November 17, 2014
6:00- 8:00 p.m.

Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus

Bridgewater, NJ

Register Here!

Generously Sponsored by

Message from the President


As I draft my first message as President of the NJWLA, I cannot help but think about new beginnings. Although as professionals we no longer enjoy a school year, old habits die hard, and for me, Fall will always means a time to plan, start fresh and set goals, both personal and professional. I hope you are all off to a refreshing and satisfying start, in all parts of your lives.

I must begin by expressing my honor and gratitude to serve as leader of this fantastic organization in the coming year. Although I have been a part of the NJWLA for many years, I continue to be amazed at the quality of our membership. Undeniably, we are a group of talented, dedicated and inspiring women. While we all wear so many hats, we always seem to have time to support and help one another and I think it is this collaborative environment of which I am most proud. Those of you who are new to NJWLA are in for a real treat.

NJWLA means support, education and inspiration. We carefully and timelessly plan our efforts and programming to move our mission forward and serve our association’s multi-faceted population. This year is no different. We are already off to a terrific start, having co-sponsored the July 2014 Fore Ladies Only Golf Outing and Clinic with the Essex County Bar Foundation at which more than 80 attendees enjoyed a beautiful day of golf, food, cocktails and raffles, all while networking and supporting Displaced Homemakers Network of New Jersey. On September 16, 2014, we also hosted another outstanding Fall Kickoff Cocktail Party at McLoone’s in West Orange, NJ. Over 80 attendees enjoyed a relaxing evening of good company and networking.

“Lean In II” was a tremendous evening. Held on October 7, 2014 at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ, over 120 female attorneys participated in our thought-provoking discussion of career questions highlighted in Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In. “Lean In II” followed “Lean In I”, which was held in February 2014. Those who attended these events recognize the importance of our conversation surrounding the themes of “leaning in” and taking charge of our personal lives and careers. We are thrilled and honored that The Honorable Helen Hoens (retired) and The Honorable Jennifer Velez joined us for this important discussion. They are always so inspiring! Learning from each other, I think it is fair to say that we are all “leaning in” and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones.

Diversity has always been, and will always be, a mainstay of our organization. We are continuing to work with our sister and brother organizations to further the issues and challenges faced by women and minorities in the legal profession. In November, we are excited to present, “An Evening with Helen Wan”, author of The Partner Track. As we partner with our co-sponsors APALA and the HBA, we look forward to learning about Helen’s experiences as a young minority attorney in a large firm and her tips on navigating issues of diversity and inclusion in law firms and corporations. We are confident that Lean In II and our Helen Wan program will assist and enlighten our members about the perennial and elusive “balance” issues as well as the obstacles faced by women and minorities in our profession, with invaluable insight on how to successfully navigate and overcome such challenges. Please see our website for other events that we proudly cosponsor with the NJSBA and specialty bars.

We know how crucial it is that our younger members learn from more senior attorneys. In that vein, our Young Lawyers Division will host “Building The Confident Lawyer” on November 17, 2014 from 6-8 pm. This is a tremendous chance for young lawyers to learn from those who’ve been in the trenches and we hope you will join us.

Our Solo/Small Firm Committee continues its roundtable series where our solo/small firm Members can collaborate on unique issues faced by these entrepreneurs. We invite all interested to the upcoming roundtable, “Harvesting Helpful Branding Techniques,” to be held on October 28, 2014 from 8:30 to 10:00 am.

Looking ahead, and on a more practical note, we recognize the crucial importance of business development to our private sector lawyers, as well as the unique challenges faced by female attorneys in this area. We are excited to be planning an indepth program to be presented in February 2015, which will provide practical guidance on how attorneys can develop in this crucial area. Stay tuned.

I am confident that NJWLA has something to offer each of us and hope you take advantage of this tremendous organization. We are always available to assist one another so please reach out with any questions. And don’t forget to share your successes with us so we can share in one another’s achievements!

Happy Fall Everyone!


New Jersey Women Lawyers Association | 973-819-9488 | cskinner@njwla.org | http://www.njwla.org633 Franklin AvenuePMB #118Nutley, NJ 07110

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