Paulette Brown, the first woman of color to be named President of the American Bar Association (ABA), will be in Austin on Thursday, March 31, 2016. The visit is part of her Main Street Initiative, which has her crisscrossing the country during her presidential year. She is visiting at least two states per month, reaching out to lawyers, law schools, and bar associations across the country. At most stops, Brown is visiting with local chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs. While in Austin, Brown and members of the Austin Bar Association and Austin Young Lawyer’s Association, will pay a 4 p.m. visit to the Boys & Girls Club at Volma Overton Elementary School, 7201 Colony Loop Dr., Austin, TX 78724. She will talk to the children about the law and encourage them to consider a path toward working in the legal profession.
Brown will also be in town to open an American Bar Association conference on 40 Years after Gregg V. Georgia: A National Conference on the Death Penalty to be held March 31 – April 2 at the University of Texas School of Law. Her opening remarks at 9 a.m. on March 31 will discuss the ABA’s long history and dedication to the examination of capital punishment in America. The conference will also feature appearances from judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, academics, government officials, journalists and victims’ advocates.
Brown is partner and co-chair of the firm-wide Diversity & Inclusion Committee at Locke Lord LLP. She has held a variety of leadership positions within the ABA. She has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1997 and is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and its Executive Committee as well as the Governance Commission. While serving on the Board of Governors, Brown chaired the Program, Planning and Evaluation Committee. Brown has served on the Commission on Women in the Profession and was a co-author of Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms. Brown also chaired the ABA Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice (now Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice) and is a past co-chair of the Commission on Civic Education in our Nation’s Schools. Brown served on the Section of Legal Education’s Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and its Executive Committee. Brown joined the ABA Young Lawyers Division in 1976. She became active in the Section of Litigation in 1995, which has continued to be her section “home” ever since. She is a former member of The Fund for Justice and Education (FJE), FJE President’s Club and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Brown has held many positions throughout her career, including as in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation.
Brown has been recognized by the National Law Journal as one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” and by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the “prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey.” She has received the New Jersey Medal from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and currently serves on its Board of Trustees.
Brown has repeatedly been named as a New Jersey Super Lawyer and by US News as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of commercial litigation. In 2009, Brown was a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. In 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. Brown, who served President of the National Bar Association from 1993-1994, received the NBA’s highest honor, The C. Francis Stradford Award, in 2015.
Brown earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.A. at Howard University.