Winter 2017 Newletter

Winter 2017 Newsletter
February 2017

Member News

Congratulations to NJWLA Board Member, Michellene Davis, for being named in the NJBIZ Power 100 List, 2017!
Even more congratulations for being chosen as an Honoree of the Alice Paul Equality Award and being honored by the
Tri-County Scholarship Fund
as one of the Women of Achievement!

Congratulations to NJWLA Board Member and Past President, Galit Kierkut, on being named to NJBiz 50 Best Women In Business, 2017

Congratulations to NJWLA Executive Board Member, Osato Chitou – Honored as an iconic Rutgers Alumni by the Association of Black Law Students at Rutgers Law School!

Congratulations to NJWLA Board Member, Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor, for being elevated to General Counsel at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A.

Congratulations to NJWLA Board Member, Renée Rubino!
Renée has been appointed to the Women’s Leadership Council’s Steering Committee. The Northern New Jersey WLC is part of a global network of nearly 70,000 women from 163 United Ways dedicated to creating stronger communities. Ms. Rubino will serve as the WLC Representative for Morris County.

Congratulations to Board Member, Victoria Cioppettini, and NJWLA Members, Jill Bienstock and Lauren Manduke, on being named Members of the firm at Cole Schotz P.C.!

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 with any details you would like to be included in our next NJWLA newsletter

Event Photos

The NJWLA’s Annual Holiday Party took place on December 13, 2016 and was sponsored and hosted by McCarter & English. Participants were asked to bring an item from one of the wish lists to benefit the work of two charitable organizations: Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation; and The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. At the same time as helping those less fortunate, it also proved to be a festive evening of networking and catching up with good friends.

In This Issue
Member News
Upcoming Events
Committee Spotlight
Fee Arbitration Committee Appointment Opportunity
Amended By-Laws
Message From the President

Upcoming Events

10th Annual
WILL Platinum Gala

March 28, 2017
The Grove
Cedar Grove, NJ

Gala Details, Registration & Sponsorship

Committee Spotlight

In an effort to help familiarize our membership with each NJWLA committee, each quarterly E-newsletter will highlight various NJWLA committees. A list of all committees and committee directors can be found here.

Gala Committee
The Gala Committee oversees the planning, marketing and logistics of the NJWLA’s annual Gala. The NJWLA’s Gala is one of the premier events in the New Jersey legal community and has enjoyed increasing attendance each year. The Gala is designed to honor leaders from the judicial, public, corporate and private law firm sectors. For the past two years, attendance has exceeded 650 people, and the Gala Committee anticipates another enthusiastic and record-setting turnout this year.

This year is the NJWLA’s 10th Annual Women’s Initiative and Leaders in Law (WILL) Platinum Gala. It will take place on March 28, 2017 at The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. The Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo, U.S. District Judge will be the Mistress of Ceremonies. Five individuals are being honored with the WILL Platinum Award, which is bestowed upon individuals for their exceptional achievements, their sustained contributions to gender equity challenges and other issues unique to women in the legal profession. For a list of this year’s Honorees, to order Tickets, or to view Sponsorship Packages, please click here.

Young Lawyers Committee
The Young Lawyers Committee (“YLC”) creates and presents events directed towards the ideas, concerns, and struggles of young lawyers. Membership in the YLC is open to attorneys who have been in practice seven (7) years or less and to law students. However, everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend the events hosted by the YLC.

Recent events have included the Young Lawyers Roundtable, which took place on November 17, 2016 and was sponsored and hosted by Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi, PC. The Roundtable was attended by attorneys of multiple generations and gave young lawyers the opportunity to ask candid questions about professional and personal development. Brief presentations on financial planning and business development were also made.

Diversity Committee
The Diversity Committee is engaged in activities to foster diversity and inclusion of attorneys regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexual preference, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, or religious beliefs or other ideologies. The Committee seeks to increase diversity in NJWLA’s membership and collaborates with other organizations that have diverse memberships or missions.

The Committee creates and presents programs demonstrating NJWLA’s commitment to diversity in addition to working with the affinity bars of the state. Recently, the Diversity Committee has worked with the affinity bars to support ABA Resolution 107, to create a diversity and inclusion CLE requirements in the state of New Jersey. The matter is currently pending with the State Board of Continuing Legal Education and is on the agenda for their next meeting.

Fee Arbitration Committee Appointment Opportunity

The Fee Arbitration Committee is seeking volunteers to be considered for appointment to the District VIII Fee Arbitration Committee. A potential candidate must live or work in Middlesex County and be practicing at least three years.

If interested in submitting an application, please contact Donna Jennings at or call 732-855-6039 to obtain additional information. Please note that all applications must be completed no later than March 1, 2017.

Amended By-Laws

On January 23, 2017, the NJWLA Board of Directors passed a vote adopting the Amended and Restated By-Laws of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association.

Message from the President

Loren L. Pierce

Over the course of the past month, the NJWLA Board and Executive Board have been carefully evaluating whether to take a formal position on some of the contentious issues raised on important matters including the Executive Order regarding immigration, potential equal pay legislation, and the treatment of Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the U.S. Senate. NJWLA is non-partisan and takes a stand when the issue impacts our mission. That being said, there has been a healthy discussion about our role, whether the issue is partisan, whether the mission is impacted, concerns of precedence and the possible slippery slope of taking a stand. It has not been easy but all are very mindful of our obligations to the members of NJWLA and the differing views that thrive in our membership. We will continue to examine every issue presented to us and no action will be taken lightly.
We recognize our responsibility to address the issues raised and therefore, we will be co-sponsoring an event with NJSBA and Seton Hall University School of Law entitled Gender, the Law, and the 2016 Presidential Election: Where We Stand and Where to Go. The program is on March 14, 2017, at the Law Center and we are excited that a panel of accomplished women will speak and lead a practical discussion on issues relating to gender, politics, representation and leadership. There will also be a continuing legal education component to the program focusing on existing and emerging laws and the United States Supreme Court. It promises to be a phenomenal program that you won’t want to miss!
On another front, we continue to seek acceptance of ABA Resolution 107 by the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Continuing Legal Education. ABA Resolution 107 encourages state licensing and regulatory authorities to modify their continuing legal education requirements to include mandatory programs regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal profession of all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disabilities and programs regarding the elimination of bias. In September 2016, the Board voted to undertake efforts to seek passage of ABA Resolution 107 in New Jersey. We have pursued the cause with the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Continuing Legal Education. While the committee has not taken any action on our request, we understand that they will be discussing the resolution at their next meeting. All active Affinity Bars as well as the New Jersey State Bar joined in this request. We continue to seek passage of ABA 107 and invite you to participate in the pursuit. If you wish to write to any of the members of the Supreme Court Committee, we can provide contact information and copies of the letters we have sent. It is our hope that the passage of ABA 107 will encourage all members of the legal profession to recognize and eliminate acts of discrimination and bias that continue to serve as a barrier to equality in the New Jersey legal community.
Other efforts to support women include the presentation of a panel discussion on March 7, 2017, entitled “Getting Out of Your Own Way – Developing a Strategy to Eliminate Self-Sabotage.” The program presented by the Women’s Leadership Committee seeks to assist members with developing a strategic plan to achieve career enhancement. Other educational events coming in the spring include: a “Tales from the Bench” event, A How-to Program for those interested in becoming a Judge, Commissioner or Board Member, Solo/Small Firm Committee presentation and the Annual Judicial Panel presentation. Please see for further details and registration information.
And last but certainly not least, the Tenth Annual WILL Platinum Gala is set for March 28, 2017 at The Grove in Cedar Grove. Yet again, we will be presenting awards to five very extremely talented women who have made their mark and paved the way for others. We anticipate another fabulous evening and look forward to seeing you there.
Remember, speaking in a collective voice can and will make a difference so I urge you to become active participants in NJWLA. I look forward to seeing you this spring!


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

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