Awards and Recognition

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Mel Narol Award 
Commemorating Mel Narol’s commitment to the work of and enthusiastic support of the Task Force on Diversity, this NJSBA Diversity Committee’s award is presented to those members of the association who have spearheaded inclusion and made strides for women and minority lawyers.
Narol was a charter member of the task force and worked tirelessly on the project to make the diversity effort within the NJSBA a permanent order of business. Through his leadership, what began as a small task force has grown into a permanent standing committee. The members of the Task Force on Diversity turned to Narol for his insight into the NJSBA as an organization, and sought his advice on a variety of philosophical and logistical issues. His enthusiasm and impetus led to the first Specialty Bar Summit. It was what he characterized as, “a necessary show of support” for diversity initiatives. Narol felt strongly that the NJSBA should be at the forefront of inclusion, strategically, for the sake of the development of membership, and because it was the right and most natural thing to do for today and the future. Naming this award in his honor celebrates Narol’s work on the Task Force on Diversity, his collegiality and his unwavering kindness.
The recommended award recipient is chosen at a meeting of the Diversity Committee, and must be approved by the NJSBA Board of Trustees. The chairs of the Diversity Committee have the authority to decide the voting process (open/closed ballot), and may, at their discretion, recommend the award be given to more than one recipient. 
To submit a nomination for the 2023 award, provide a complete bio or profile of the nominee or entity, along with an explanation supporting the nomination, to Paula Saha, Senior Managing Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Member Engagement at [email protected] The deadline for nominations is March 3.
Please note, as of 2017, sitting state judges are not eligible for this award per the Administrative Office of the Courts.

The past recipients are:  
1999 – Cynthia M. Jacob and Karol Corbin Walker
2000 – Hon. Marie Garibaldi
2001 – Raymond M. Brown 
2002 – Stanley Van Ness
2003 – Hon. James Coleman and, posthumously, Mel Narol
2004 – Rutgers Law School Minority Students Program
2005 – Hon. Joseph Rodriguez
2006 – Zulima V. Farber
2007 –Ronald K. Chen
2008 – Raymond Brown
2009 – Hon. Anne E. Thompson
2010 – Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, Inc.
2011 – Paulette Brown and Hon. Shirley Tolentino
2012 – Karol Corbin Walker
2013 – Hon. Esther Salas
2014 – Hon. Alberto Rivas
2015 – Saul A. Wolfe
2016 – Julien X. Neals and Evan Wolfson

2017 - Miles S. Winder III
2018 - Thomas H. Prol
2019 - Assemblywoman Annette Quijano
2020 - Lora Fong
2021 - Evelyn Padin
2022 - Garden State Bar Association    

Justice Thurgood Marshall Award
The Diversity Committee presents this award annually to outstanding diverse jurists who have demonstrated, through personal and professional achievement, a commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.