New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
NJWLA 7th Annual WILL Platinum Gala Achieves Record-Breaking Attendance





Cedar Grove, New Jersey- Approximately 650 accomplished attorneys and elite leaders of the New Jersey bench and bar attended the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association's sold out 7th Annual Women's Initiative and Leaders in the Law (WILL) Platinum Gala at The Grove in Cedar Grove on Tuesday, March 25th. Over 50 members of the judiciary were in attendance, including New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.  The NJWLA awarded six exceptional leaders of the bench and bar with the WILL Platinum Award, an honor bestowed upon individuals for their outstanding achievements in the legal profession and their sustained contributions to gender equity challenges and other issues unique to women in the legal profession.


This year's WILL award recipients were the Honorable Patty Shwartz, United States Circuit Judge, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Honorable Patricia K. Costello, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County, Jane Hanson, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Partners for Women and Justice, Pamela Craven, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for Avaya, Inc., The Law Firm of Adams, Gutierrez & Lattiboudere, LLC and the Honorable Dorothea Wefing, who was presented with the 2014 Trailblazer Award. The Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.


NJWLA President Suzanne Cerra discussed the NJWLA's theme for the year, "Women Empowering Women", and the NJWLA's efforts to overcome the institutional, personal and professional obstacles faced by women lawyers. The Keynote address was delivered by Emmy Award Winning Television Anchor and Journalist, Deborah Norville. Ms. Norville spoke with candor and humor about dealing with life's "curveballs" and the unique challenges faced by female professionals.


The NJWLA was very proud to spotlight its 2013 inaugural class of Grant Recipients and to announce the 2014 Grantees, who will receive grants totaling over $42,000.  The 2014 Grant Recipients are: Partners for Women and Justice, the Alice Paul Institute, the National Association of Women Judges, and NJLEEP. Scholarships were awarded to three female law students from each of the New Jersey law schools, who wrote poignant essays that appeared in the 2014 Gala Journal.   

The NJWLA is an independent association of over one thousand attorneys, law students and judges in New Jersey. Its mission is to retain women in the legal profession through education and activism; promote its members to the highest levels of law firm, government, academic, community and corporate positions; and endorse qualified female attorneys for appointments to the state and federal judiciary. More information about the NJWLA, including membership materials, can be found at