Association recognized as a leader for social justice

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January 6, 2017
Contact: Kate Coscarelli
Senior Managing Director Communications

NEW BRUNSWICK - The New Jersey State Bar Association is being honored next week for its efforts in promoting social justice.
The association will receive the 2017 Passion, Power, Progress Social Justice Award from the Women’s Political Caucus of NJ. Association President Thomas H. Prol will accept the award at the ceremony being held on Jan. 12 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick.
The association is receiving the award in recognition of its commitment to improving the integrity of the justice system and the lives of its members. The award recognizes the efforts the association makes to enhance awareness of the legal profession and the legal system so people aren’t denied access to legal services or the courts.
The honor recognizes the association’s “leadership, civil involvement and professional efforts have helped make New Jersey a better place for women,” the caucus said in announcing the award.
Among the causes cited in granting the award, were:

• the NJSBA’s amicus curiae in a number of cases that impact the lives of women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and efforts to provide access to the courts for the most vulnerable;
• the central role the association has played in the public discussion on the critical importance of maintaining judicial independence and preserving its status and authority as a co-equal branch of government;
• the association’s diversity program, which provides a key educational component by spotlighting issues such as implicit bias and discrimination and established a Leadership Academy;
• the association’s legislative and government affairs program, which has initiated and participated in efforts to protect individuals such as fair alimony reform, juvenile justice reform, fair and equitable treatment of individuals for fertility treatment insurance coverage, and issues that touch the lives of underrepresented and unrepresented communities; and
• outreach efforts to educate the public about the role of the courts in society.

The caucus’s primary goal is to increase the participation of women in the political process. It is a multi-partisan, grassroots organization that seeks to achieve equality for all women.
“The NJSBA is humbled and honored to accept this award. We have historically made issues of equality and access to justice for all top priorities, and will continue to do so in the days, months and years ahead. As attorneys, we hold the keys to the courthouse doors for many in our society and that is a privilege all attorneys treat with reverence and respect,” Prol said.
In addition to the NJSBA, other award recipients include:
Mary Patricia Keefe, vice president of regulatory affairs and business support at Elizabethtown Gas, will receive the Mary Philbrook Award; Vin Gopal, chair of the Monmouth County Democrats, and John Traier, chair of the Passaic County Republicans, will receive Good Guy Awards; and MZM Construction Company, Inc.’s President and Chief Executive Officer Marjorie Perry will accept the Corporate Award.

Read more about the event here.