Spring 2017 Newsletter

Spring 2017 Newsletter
May 2017

Member News

Congratulations to NJWLA Board Member, Carmen M. Garcia, who was awarded the Margarita Echevarria Trailblazer Award by the Hispanic Bar Association of NJ at its Annual Scholarship Gala. Further congratulations to Carmen M. Garcia for being recognized by Rutgers Law in Camden for her founding of Alianza, the Latino law students’ association.

Congratulations to NJWLA Executive Board Members, Jemi Goulian Lucey and Elyse Wolff, who will assume new leadership positions in the New Jersey State Bar Association. Jemi will become Treasurer of the Federal Practice and Procedure Section and Elyse will become Vice Chair of the Construction Law Section.

Congratulations to NJWLA Executive Board Member, Lora Fong, for being selected to the Law Journal’s Distinguished Leaders of the Bar List! Lora will be honored June 20, 2017, at the Law Journal’s Professional Excellence event at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park.

NJWLA congratulates Board Member and NJWLA Past President, Kirsten Scheurer Branigan, for being named to the 2016 elected group of Fellows of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, which honors distinguished lawyers nationwide in the practice of labor and employment law. Nomination as a Fellow is limited to those who have been in the field of labor and employment law for at least 20 years and meet the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards

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

Event Photos

Nuts & Bolts of the Judicial & NJ State Appointments Process, April, 2017

Getting Out of Your Own Way
March, 2017

Running A Successful Solo or Small Firm
May, 2017

Gender, The Law & The 2016 Election
May, 2017

In This Issue
Member News
2017 WILL Platinum Gala
Member Spotlight
Upcoming Events
Message From the President


The New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA) held another incredible Gala this year, the 10th Annual Women’s Initiative and Leaders in the Law (WILL) Platinum Gala. The Gala took place on March 28th at The Grove in Cedar Grove, NJ. More than 700 individuals attended, helping to make it a smashing success!

NJWLA proudly awarded WILL Platinum Awards to five extraordinary women from the bench and the bar for their outstanding achievements in the legal profession. This year’s WILL award recipients were the Honorable Mary L. Cooper of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey; the Honorable Sue Pai Yang, J.W.C., (Retired) of the State of New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation; Wendy Johnson Lario, Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig LLP; Ramona E. Romero, General Counsel for Princeton University; and Diane K. Smith, Executive Director for Legal Services of Northwest Jersey. Representing members of the judiciary and the public and private sectors, the award recipients were individually lauded for contributing to the advancement of women in the legal profession and for serving as role models for women lawyers of all ages and backgrounds. The Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Thank you to all who attended and supported this event.

Member Spotlight

Elyse H. Wolff

When I attended a NJWLA program in the Spring of 2016, Nuts & Bolts of the Judicial and New Jersey State Appointment Process, I had no idea that this event would end up changing my life. That might sound corny, but it is true. This program started in motion a series of other events that led to my appointment as a Commissioner for the State Commission on Holocaust Education within one year. At the Nuts & Bolts event, I learned about the existence of the State’s hundreds of commissions. I literally had no idea about these commissions. I sat at the event and looked through the booklet and discovered the Commission on Holocaust Education. As the granddaughter of two survivors of Auschwitz, this Commission immediately sparked my interest.

Following the Nuts & Bolts event, I started talking to people in my community about my amazement at the number of commissions and about the Commission on Holocaust Education. I was then introduced to the new Executive Director for the Commission on Holocaust Education and we immediately clicked. Wanting to better understand the Commission’s mission and the requirements of being a Commissioner, I started to attend Commission meetings, met the other Commissioners, and had the opportunity to meet a number of Holocaust survivors living in our state.

The Commission has a certain number of spots appointed by the Governor and a certain number appointed by the State Senate. A Commissioner spot opened up at about the same time that NJWLA hosted the Meet the Political Party Leaders event in September 2016. At that event, I met the Chairwoman for the Democratic Party of my county. I introduced myself to her, then followed up and made an appointment to meet with her to discuss the appointment process. After our meeting, she endorsed my appointment to the Senate President, Senator Sweeney. I also sought and obtained the endorsement of NJWLA. In March of this year, Senator Sweeney appointed me to the Commission, and I am now the first third generation of a survivor to serve as a Commissioner.

I have always known about the Holocaust, and it has always been a part of my life. As the survivors age and pass away, I believe that we are at a critical point in history, and it is my duty and my generation’s duty to step up and ensure that the Holocaust is not forgotten. As a Commissioner, I want to make certain that the history of the Holocaust and stories of humanity during an inhumane time are remembered. Despite the efforts to educate and remember our history, genocides continue around the world. I am passionate and determined to make sure that the Holocaust is never forgotten, and that genocide education and prevention continues in our State.

Because of my personal history and because of my role as an attorney in this State, I believe that I am well-suited to serve as a Commissioner and further the Commission’s mission to promote Holocaust education in the State of New Jersey. I am thankful to NJWLA for its programming, for educating me about the commission appointment process, for providing me with the opportunity to meet the Chairwoman and for endorsing me for this role.

Elyse H. Wolff, NJWLA Co-Secretary (2016-2017)
May 10, 2017
Ms. Wolff is a member of the litigation department at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP. Her practice is primarily focused on community association and construction law.

Upcoming Events

May 25th
NJWLA & ECBF 6th Annual
FORE Ladies Only Golf Outing

Information & Registration

June 7th
In-house Panel Discussion

Details & Registration
(Limited to In-house Counsel)

June 8th
2017 Judicial Panel

Details & Registration links will be posted at www.njwla.org

July 13th
Summer Cocktail Mixer
Empowered Women Empower Women

Registration & Details

Message from the President

Loren L. Pierce

As I prepare my last President’s Message, I realize that the year has just flown by. It has been a great pleasure serving with all of you, and I am taking away much more than I gave. The members of NJWLA are a wonderful group of very accomplished women who provide so much energy and enthusiasm to the legal community in New Jersey. The work that we have all undertaken this year supports all women in the New Jersey legal community.

We presented many impactful programs that have helped women jumpstart their careers or reach the next level. Our programs continue to raise the profile of NJWLA. We joined with the NJSBA and other affinity bars in presentation of programs including Notorious RBG; Gender, The Law and The Election of 2016; as well as our annual Nuts & Bolts program; and summer networking event. Through programming, we presented information on becoming involved in the political process. We joined with the State Bar when it pressed for moving forward with discussions on the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. This year, we also were pleased to be able to offer members the chance to obtain CLE credits in connection with attending a number of NJWLA programs. Together we have all worked very hard to make a difference to reach back and push forward for women in our profession.

In addition to our continuing commitment to strong programming, NJWLA undertook efforts in support of gender equality and the importance of requiring implicit bias training for all in the New Jersey legal community. Our efforts to have the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Continuing Legal Education consider ABA Resolution 107 to add a requirement on bias training will be beneficial to all when passed. With the continued support of many other bar associations, I am confident that we will continue to pursue the goal until we succeed in having bias training called for under ABA 107 as a CLE requirement. We have continued to bring to the forefront a discussion of unconscious gender bias seeking to have it recognized and eradicated from our profession. We have some distance to travel on this issue, but I am confident that the incoming Board and future leaders of NJWLA will continue to lead us toward gender equality in our profession.

NJWLA is a non-partisan organization with a very specific mission, and it continues to work each year to thoughtfully consider and support programs and initiatives consistent with that mission.

Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to serve New Jersey Women Lawyer Association. It has been a year filled with much joy as I see members supporting each other and this organization with great enthusiasm. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done to make this a successful year.



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

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