Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the NJSBA
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The New Jersey State Bar Association is committed to promoting and fostering a diverse and inclusive bar association. The Association recognizes that the broad concept of diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age and disability. The NJSBA fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that gives value to the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations in all aspects of the Association. The NJSBA further recognizes that:
- Increased diversity and inclusion efforts benefit not only the NJSBA, but also the entire legal profession and the greater community;
- Bringing diverse individuals and viewpoints together creates opportunities for all;
- Inclusive efforts must be supported by all Sections/Divisions/Committees of the NJSBA through continuous and heartfelt actions;
- Diversity and inclusion requires ongoing training and education of the entire profession to break down barriers that have previously prevented progress;
- Creating a diverse and inclusive environment requires commitment and consistent momentum towards the future of the profession, and requires unwavering commitment.
For these reasons, the New Jersey State Bar Association affirms its commitment to diversity and inclusion and will support the diversity and inclusion goals adopted by the American Bar Association, including: “Goal III, “Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity.” The NJSBA’s Diversity Objectives include promoting full and equal participation in the association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons; and eliminating bias in the legal profession and the justice system. To that end, the NJSBA will:
- Support and maintain a Leadership Academy for all individuals, particularly attorneys newer to the profession, attorneys of color and other diverse attorneys that would benefit from intense yearlong training by legal scholars to help these individuals prepare for growth and leadership roles;
- Increase access and representation of all minorities and diverse individuals in law firms, legal departments, bar associations, law schools and other organizations;
- Measure and encourage hiring, recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys in the legal profession.
For more information, please see the NJSBA Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The Senior Managing Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Member Engagement serves as the staff liaison for the Diversity Committee and New Jersey diverse/affinity bar associations to develop strategies for increasing participation of diverse lawyers with the NJSBA. The position was created and charged with the task of working with member and leadership volunteers to developing initiatives that will catapult the diversity, equity and inclusion into the forefront of the New Jersey legal community and serve as a positive model for other New Jersey legal institutions.
If you are interested in learning more about NJSBA Diversity Initiatives, please contact Paula Saha at 732-214-8509 or [email protected].
Sections and Committees Related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The NJSBA Diversity Committee is a standing committee of that works with the entire NJSBA community to support the mission and vision of the NJSBA, and to ensure that diversity, in its many forms, is understood, respected and valued. The NJSBA Diversity Committee will guide efforts to conceptualize, assess, and cultivate diversity as an institutional and educational resource. The NJSBA works to promote equality in the profession and justice system and identifies ways in which the NJSBA can promote diversity in the practice of law. The NJSBA Diversity Committee seeks to collaborate with all sections and committees to ensure the full and equal access to and participation by individuals in the NJSBA, the legal profession and in the justice system regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Standing Committee members are appointed by the NJSBA President on a yearly basis. See current committee membership here.
LGBTQ Rights Section
The LGBTQ Rights Section addresses issues that are of importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the legal profession. It advocates for and promotes the civil and human rights of the LGBTQ community, strives to improve access to justice for LGBTQ individuals and works to advance professional opportunities for LGBTQ attorneys and judges. Interested in joining the section? Click here.
Minorities in the Profession Section
The Minorities in the Profession Section, or MIPS, mission is to promote the objectives of the New Jersey State Bar Association and to voice the interests and concerns of minority attorneys. The Section will hold forums and institutes for discussion of problems and questions relating to such interests. This Section will provide for the publication and dissemination of information and knowledge regarding such interests and any related field of law. The Section will consider legislation and will promote remedial law and procedures pertaining thereto. The Section will also encourage minorities to join the legal profession and the New Jersey State Bar Association. Interested in joining the section? Click here.
Special Committee on Racial Equity in the Law
The NJSBA Special Committee on Racial Equity in the Law will examine the impact of racial inequalities and racism within the practice of law and the administration of justice in New Jersey. The Committee will address institutional anti-Blackness within the State’s legal establishments and its impact on the practice of law. Based on its findings, the Committee will make recommendations to the NJSBA Board of Trustees to advance specific strategies and policies directed at improving fairness in the administration of justice; improving the practice of law for all practitioners; educating lawyers and Bar leaders about the impact of racism on law and justice; and preserving the independence and integrity of the judicial system. The work of the Committee is crucial to reach racial equity in the legal system and in the practice of law for all, and the Committee’s membership should be inclusive of representatives from throughout the state’s legal community, including the affinity bar associations.
NJSBA members can request appointment top the Commission on Racial Equity in the law here.
Women in the Profession Section
The Women in the Profession Section is dedicated to advancing women’s rights in the law and the legal profession. Interested in joining the section? Click here.
Awards and Recognition