First openly gay president of NJSBA promises to promote equality for all, judicial independence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2016
Atlantic City: Thomas Prol was installed as president of the New Jersey State Bar Association at the organization’s annual meeting last night at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Prol, a partner with Laddey, Clark & Ryan of Sparta, is the association’s first openly gay president and the third attorney from Sussex County to serve the post.
Prol, of Franklin Borough, practices environmental, real property and local government law, as well as business counseling and litigation. He is a frequent lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and has served as an adjunct professor at both New York Law School and Rutgers University. Prol has been selected for inclusion on the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars multiple times and was named to the national Super Lawyers Business Edition list for environmental law.
Prol said that during his tenure he plans to pursue the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and be a voice promoting the importance of a fair and impartial judicial branch.
“We’re all on this quest to make the world a better place. As attorneys we help citizens pursue justice. I am proud to be part of this noble tradition, and advancing the New Jersey State Bar Association’s important role in the state as a catalyst for change,” he said, adding: “I want to be an advocate for our members and their interests. I look forward to standing up and speaking out on the matters that affect attorneys, their practices and their clients. Our members and our judiciary can be assured that they’re going to have someone out there fighting for them as strongly as possible.”
Prol has served the association extensively for over a decade. He has been a vocal advocate on civil rights issues, including marriage equality and the New Jersey Anti-bullying Bill of Rights. In addition, he has served as vice chairman of the board of Garden State Equality, the state’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization. During his tenure as an NJSBA trustee, Prol represented the association before various New Jersey courts, tribunals and legislative bodies while serving on multiple sections and committees. He was named the state bar’s Young Lawyer of the Year in 2004 and that same year was lauded as one of the “magnificent seven” New Jersey attorneys of the year by New Jersey Lawyer newspaper.
In addition to being licensed to practice law in both New Jersey and New York, and before numerous federal district and appellate courts including the United State Supreme Court, Prol is a graduate of New York Law School and holds both a Master of Public Health and Bachelor’s degrees from Emory University. Prior to law school, he worked as an environmental scientist and enforcement officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also served two years as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal and has held externships with the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, CNN, and the Carter Presidential Center.
Prol is a long-time resident of Sussex County; he is the son of a medical secretary and a World War II Navy veteran who worked nearly five decades as a union bricklayer.