April 1, 2022
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paula Saha
The first Hispanic American woman to serve as president of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the state’s oldest and largest professional organization for the Black legal community will be honored with the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Narol Award, which recognizes individuals and entities that have spearheaded inclusion and made strides for women and diverse attorneys.
Evelyn Padin will receive the award for 2021 and the Garden State Bar Association will receive the award for 2022.
The Narol Award is named for Mel Narol, a charter member of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Task Force on Diversity who worked tirelessly to make diversity efforts within the association a permanent order of business. The award celebrates his work, his collegiality, and his unwavering kindness. Recipients are chosen by the NJSBA Diversity Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees.
In selecting Padin, the Diversity Committee highlighted the work she has done in the organized bar related to inclusion and equity throughout her career, including as the 2019–2020 NJSBA President. During her tenure, she continued efforts to ensure access to the justice system through several volunteer legal clinics; expanded diversity and inclusion efforts in the NJSBA and legal profession; and raised awareness and funds from the legal community to feed New Jersey’s children who are experiencing food insecurity.
As a former trustee of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, Padin worked to further strengthen ties with the state’s many affinity bar organizations. In addition, it was under Padin’s leadership that the NJSBA raised the PRIDE flag in front of the Law Center for the first time.
In recognizing the Garden State Bar Association, the Diversity Committee noted that the GSBA has worked since 1975 to assist African Americans and other ethnic minorities become an effective part of the judicial and legal system. It has also worked to advance the science of jurisprudence, improve the administration of justice, support initiatives designed to improve the economic condition of all individuals, and eliminate discrimination and inequality.
Highlights of the GSBA’s 2021 year included raising $52,000 in scholarships for diverse law students, hosting more than 30 virtual programs, as well as community service and social justice activities. The Diversity Committee also recognized that the Garden State Bar Association was named the 2020–2021 affiliate chapter of the year by the National Bar Association, the first nationwide organization of African American attorneys.
The recipients will be recognized at the 2022 NJSBA Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlantic City during this year’s Diversity Luncheon, which will start at 11:30 a.m. on May 19 in the Signature Room at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.