The National Association of Women Judges’ mission is to: promote the judicial role of protecting the
rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership,
fairness and equality in the courts, and equal access to justice.
NAWJ was founded by two visionary women, California Appeals Court Justices Joan Dempsey Klein
and Vaino Spencer (Retired). Since 1979, the National Association of Women Judges has fought to
preserve judicial independence, ensure equal justice and access to the courts for women, minorities
and other historically disfavored groups, increase the numbers and advancement of women judges at all
levels, and provide cutting-edge judicial education.
NAWJ’s diverse membership include women and men at all levels of the federal, state, trial, military and
administrative judiciary from nearly every state in the nation, as well as attorneys and law clerks also
committed to our mission of diversity and equality in the system of justice.
NAWJ takes pride in its accomplishments. We were at the forefront in the establishment and implementation of
gender bias task forces in both federal and state courts. We advanced the administration of justice in areas
of domestic violence, child support and child custody, and the treatment of women in the courts of America.
We are committed to our efforts in educating judges on bioethics, elder abuse, sentencing of women offenders
with substance abuse problems, conditions for women in prison, and the problems facing immigrants in our court system.
In addition to addressing these and other important issues, NAWJ, through our Conferences and events, provides an
opportunity for judges to meet and discuss professional challenges and issues of mutual concern in an atmosphere of warm collegiality.