NJWLA Celebrates 10th Annual WILL Platinum Gala
The State's Leading Attorneys, Law Students and Judges Gather
at Sold-Old Event to Honor Women Leaders in the Profession
CEDAR GROVE, NEW JERSEY - The New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA) held its 10th Annual Women's Initiative and Leaders in the Law (WILL) Platinum Gala on March 28, at The Grove in Cedar Grove, NJ. More than 700 individuals attended.
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.
Loren Pierce, NJWLA's President and Partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, provided opening remarks to a sold-out room and noted the association's continued commitment to award and recognize female law students and attorneys. She also spoke about recognizing and eliminating unconscious gender bias, the focus of her term as president. Her full speech is available here.
The NJWLA awarded $25,000 in grants to its 2017 Grant Recipients: NJ LEEP, Inc., for a diverse women's pipeline program; Ms. JD, for its student outreach program; People's Preparatory Charter School, for a leadership summer program aimed toward high school aged women; National Association of Women Judges, for the "Color of Justice Program." This is the fifth consecutive year that NJWLA has awarded grant monies, bringing the total amount of grants awarded to not-for-profit programs that support NJWLA's mission to $150,000. In addition, the NJWLA continued its scholarship program, and awarded $15,000 in scholarships to three law students in 2017: Nilaja Ford of Rutgers Law School - Newark: Blair Gerold of Rutgers Law School - Camden; and Cornelia Szymanski of Seton Hall University School of Law.