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Next leader wants a 'go-to' ABA


imagePaulette Brown: "There are a lot of important issues facing lawyers today, and it is my goal to make sure that the ABA is the go-to organization for all lawyers everywhere." Photo by Wayne Slezak.

Paulette Brown of New Jersey has been formally nominated to become ABA president in 2015. She will be the first woman of color to head the nearly 400,000-member association.

Brown’s nomination was announced as the House of Delegates met during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Chicago.

Brown said that she felt gratified and honored by the nomination, and that it was her hope it would help confirm to nonmembers that the ABA is an organization that welcomes everyone.

“When an organization includes everyone, it becomes stronger,” Brown said. “There are a lot of important issues facing lawyers today, and it is my goal to make sure that the ABA is the go-to organization for all lawyers everywhere.”

The House will go through the formality of confirming Brown as president-elect in August at the annual meeting in Boston. She is expected to begin her one-year term as president a year later at the close of the 2015 annual meeting in Chicago.

Brown, named in July by Fastcase as one of 50 legal innovators to watch, is a partner with Edwards Wildman Palmer in Madison, N.J., where she is chief diversity officer and a member of the firm’s labor and employment practice group. She is a former president of the National Bar Association and the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey.

Brown has served in the ABA House of Delegates since 1997 and is a past member of the Board of Governors. She co-chaired the Commission on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools, serves on the Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession, and is a council member for the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

During the meeting, Linda A. Klein, an Atlanta lawyer and former chair of the House of Delegates, addressed the nominating committee as a candidate for president-elect. Klein is the only declared candidate, and under ABA rules she would be considered next year. She is managing shareholder in the Georgia offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.

This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: “The Next Leader Wants a ‘Go-To’ ABA.”

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