Brown to receive 2016 O'Hern Award

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October 19, 2016
Contact: Kate Coscarelli 732-937-7548, or [email protected] 

The New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law’s highest honor, the Daniel J. O’Hern Award, will go to Paulette Brown for lifetime achievements and commitment to the highest ideals of the profession. Brown has made a pioneering impression on the state and national legal communities for her dedication to the profession, her tireless service to the law, her charitable passions and the community, and her fierce devotion to ensuring there are opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds to be meaningfully included in the legal world.
Brown, a partner at Locke Lord in Morristown, has recently concluded a term as president of the American Bar Association. She is the current chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section and remains a trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. She is also a past president of the National Bar Association and Garden State Bar Association. 
“One of her many accomplishments has been leading the dialogue on the need for diversity in the profession,” said Lori Caughman, president of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, who nominated Brown for the prestigious O’Hern Award, given annually in memory of the esteemed state Supreme Court justice. “She is most fitting for this honor.”
Her path to the top of the profession started when she attended segregated schools in Baltimore, attended Howard University, and attended Seton Hall University School of Law on full scholarship. After working in the corporate sector, she founded her own law firm in the 1980s and eventually became a municipal court judge. In 1999, she joined Duane Morris in Newark, and six years later she moved to Edwards & Angell in Short Hills, which became part of her current firm.
Her personal life is also one of achievements. She’s a former president of the YWCA of Plainfield, and she completed a number of three-day, 60-mile walks to raise money for cancer. She was also part of the delegation to monitor the first free and democratic elections in South Africa. And never having had a mentor herself, she established a mentoring group for young women of color associates.
Brown has received many accolades in and out of the legal community, including the Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award; the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession; and Howard University’s Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement Award.