Led by two visionary women - Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Justice Vaino Spencer - 100 brave and intrepid women judges met and formed an organization dedicated to the following ideals:
NAWJ was at the forefront in the establishment and implementation of gender bias task forces in both federal and state courts. We have greatly 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.
From the day it was founded, NAWJ has been committed to diversity in our membership. Our organization welcomes both men and women. Our membership includes trial and appellate, administrative, tribal and military judges, on federal, state and tribal courts at every level of the judiciary, from throughout the country, and international tribunals, as well as attorneys, law clerks, law students and law professors committed to our mission. As members of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), which NAWJ founded, we meet and interact with judges from all over the world.
We are engaged in projects and judicial education that addresses human trafficking/modern day slavery; voter education in states with judicial elections; conditions for women in prison; problems facing immigrants in our court system; bioethics; outreach to students about legal and judicial careers, among others.
This sense of belonging coupled with the desire to help other women judges has been present- then and to this day.