NAWJ Monthly Update January 2018

Written by National Association of Women Judges|January 09, 2018|Monthly Update Archive

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January 2018

In This Issue:



Happy New Year! I trust that you enjoyed your holiday season. My wish for you is that 2018 will bring you and your families joy, peace and happiness.

I am actively planning for our midyear meeting "The Emerging Legal Landscape: Navigating a Path to the Future" at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge from April 12-14, 2018. As you know, registration is open and I strongly encourage you to spread the word. Judges, attorneys and others who are interested in our educational topics (which are eligible for continuing legal education credits) are welcome to attend. For those members who serve on the board, please be advised there will be a board meeting on Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and I kindly ask for 100% participation.

I am also completing committee assignments, which will be announced soon. As I mentioned during the Atlanta conference following my swearing-in as President, we must adapt and adjust to the emerging legal, technological, economic, social and global landscape, but that "our mission remains the same."

Our membership, which is the lifeline of NAWJ, has steadily decreased over the years, much like other membership based organizations. My goal, with your help, is to reverse that trend. Therefore, I have decided to combine the membership outreach and retention, new judges and membership committees. This combined committee (with several co-chairs) will be tasked with recruiting and retaining members, as well as addressing the needs of the membership. Based on this huge responsibility, it will require the efforts of more than one committee. There is always strength in numbers and I am confident that with our collective effort, NAWJ will grow its membership recruitment and retention activities.

Several appointed and elected judges (both men and women) recently joined the bench and I encourage you to invite them to join NAWJ. We must remain steadfast to increase our exposure in the legal community and as members, we are all ambassadors charged with spreading the word about NAWJ and dispelling the myth that NAWJ is only open to women judges. In addition to our existing tagline that "we are the leading voice for women in the judiciary," I also encourage you to use the tagline, "NAWJ is not only open to women or judges, we also welcome attorneys, students, law professors, and others interested in furthering our mission (including men)." Some may be unaware that we have male NAWJ members and their support and diversity of perspective is invaluable.

Further, we need to increase our visibility in the legal and general communities by inviting organizations to partner with us in executing various programming, such as our yearly Legislative Caucus Meeting on Capitol Hill. NAWJ Projects Chair, Hon. Marcella Holland (Ret.), and NAWJ District 4 Director Hon. Anita Josey-Herring will co-chair this year's meeting, which will address sexual assault against women, and will invite a local law firm and bar association to serve as co-sponsors. I sincerely thank Judges Holland and Josey-Herring for agreeing to lead this effort.

We maintain our relevance by keeping our finger on the pulse on today's issues, whether it is sexual assault against women; bail reform; cybersecurity; artificial intelligence; the opioid crisis; effective outreach to millennials; maintaining one's mental well-being; or developing one's personal brand to enhance one's career. We also maintain our relevance by staying abreast of social media trends and using Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat and other platforms to promote and/or to highlight our events. Therefore, we must be strategic and think out of the box regarding our membership and activities as we further our mission.

Lastly, I encourage you to participate in the NAWJ membership assessment survey, which was published in last month's monthly update. Click here to participate. I look forward to 100% participation and thank you in advance for your participation.

2018 will be a great year for NAWJ! This is our charge!


Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy
President, National Association of Women Judges

April 12-14, 2018

Women in the Workplace 2017
LeanIn.Org and McKinsey&Company Partner
to Study Gender Equality in Law Firms
(Click here to find links to the full report on Women in Law Firms.)

Lean In and McKinsey&Company partnered to produce Women in Law Firms 2017. The report focuses on women in law firms in North America. Out of the project's 222 participants, 23 are law firms that employ more than 16,000 attorneys. The firms provided the project with their talent-pipeline, programs and policies data. Additionally, more than 2,500 of their attorneys answered an experience survey. All of the information shared across the various sources allowed the project to highlight challenges law firms face to advance women relative to the rest of the broader corporate world.

The report summarizes research into three key areas: 1) gender diversity in law firms' talent pipeline, 2) differences in men and women's expectations and experiences, and 3) firms' diversity policies and programs.

It concludes with priorities to improve gender diversity:
• culturally acceptable flexible work programs that encourage attorneys to take advantage of them;
• developing senior level connections to strengthen coaching partnerships that can accelerate careers and build retention and recruitment; and
• make diversity a priority that demands accountability for progress.

We thank NAWJ Resource Board member Tom Leighton of Thomson Reuters for sharing this report with us. Click here to learn more about the Women in Law Firms 2017 report.

Women in Prison Committee Member Judge Donna Paulsen Shines
in Iowa Lawyer's Spotlight on Service

Polk County Women Lawyers recognized NAWJ member and Iowa Judge Donna Paulsen with its Willie Stevenson Glanton Award. Congratulations, Judge Paulsen.

In two and a half years, Judge Paulsen, along with the Iowa Organization for Women Attorneys and the Polk County Women Attorneys, have built a bi-monthly book club for incarcerated women in the Iowa Correction Institution for Women (ICIW) in Mitchellville. The collaboration has supplied more than 900 books to ICIW. A November 14, 2017 group of 10 gathered to discuss Hidden Figures. There were many regulars, but a lot of new faces.

Judge Paulsen shared that "most of our discussion centered on sexism and racism prevalent at the time and, unfortunately, still today. Given 2017 events, this book hit home with many and stimulated good discussion. Some women discussed how these issues have arisen in their prison (e.g., women choosing to group themselves with racially similar women) and work (e.g., male dominated fields such as construction). We also discussed how women can continue to make strides and keep positive."

Judge Paulsen was inspired to create the book club in Iowa after learning about a similar book club started, organized and run by Judge Brenda Murray in the Maryland Correction Institute for Women in Jessup. Judge Murray is one of the co-chairs of NAWJ's Women in Prison Committee.

You can view Spotlight on Service that list the Iowa Book Club volunteers here. The entire The Iowa Lawyer, December/January 2018 issue in which the Spotlight appears can be found here.

Thank you, Judge Murray, for sharing news of Iowa's popular book club, and of Judge Paulsen's worthy recognition. NAWJ is grateful to you, Judge Paulsen, for your dedication to improving the lives of women in prison. Judge Paulsen, you inspire us!

NAWJ Past President Judge Carolyn Temin (Ret.)
Appointed to the IAWJ Board of Managerial Trustees

NAWJ congratulates The Honorable Carolyn Temin (Ret.), Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District of Philadelphia, on her appointment to the International Association of Women Judges Board of Managerial Trustees. Judge Temin previously co-chaired IAWJ's 13th Biennial Conference held in Washington, D.C. in 2016. IAWJ, created in 1991, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded by NAWJ member Hon. Arlene Pacht (Ret.). IAWJ currently has approximately 4,500 members in more than 80 countries and areas worldwide.



Jamie Zysk Isani is a Partner of the Miami office of Hunton & Williams, where she concentrates her practice on complex business and financial services litigation, consumer class action defense, First Amendment litigation, and complex appellate matters. She has represented in trademark infringement actions and the world's leading health information companies in First Amendment challenges. She has also represented Fortune 500 banks in class action practices and defended developers against fraud and conspiracy claims related to a multibillion-dollar hotel and casino development. In addition, Jamie has authored numerous publications, including several regarding the application of the First Amendment to corporate entities.

She has been named a "Rising Star" and the "Most Effective First Amendment Lawyer" by the Daily Business Review, and, for multiple years in a row, as one of the "Top Up and Comers" in Corporate and Business Litigation by South Florida Legal Guide. She has also been selected as a "Rising Star" and a "Super Lawyer for Business Litigation Law" by Florida Super Lawyers.

Jamie joined the Resource Board in 2012 and participated in various NAWJ events over the years. She was a panelist on "Multi District Litigation: Organizing and Managing Expansive Litigation" at the NAWJ Annual Conference in 2013, and moderated a discussion for "Judicial Appointments of Counsel-Developing Diverse Leadership in the Law" in 2015. In addition to her involvement with NAWJ, Jamie belongs to the Miami-Dade Chapter of Florida Association of Women Lawyers, serving on the Judicial Reception Committee. From 2003 to 2007, she was a member of the Miami-Dade FAWL Steering Committee. Prior to joining Hunton & Williams, Jamie worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Joan A. Lenard, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. She received her B.A. from Kalamazoo College and graduated as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Jamie earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School where she was recognized with a Clarence Darrow Scholarship.


We previously announced in the October Monthly Update that Jamie gave birth to Ava Grace on lovely September 22, 2017, and congratulated her on becoming a new mother. She has shared these lovely photos with us. Thank you Jamie for introducing us to beautiful Ava Grace and for your leadership and support of NAWJ.


Elizabeth M. Hernandez is a Partner at the Miami office of Akerman, LLP, whose practice focuses on all aspects of local government law, including procurement and contract disputes, land use and zoning, elections, ethics, and Florida constitutional law. She represents both municipal clients and developers in creating strategies and agreements to address the rights of property owners and the goals of the affected governmental agencies. Elizabeth was instrumental in drafting legistlation in enforcing municipal codes and has been a speaker on enforecement-related matters. She has handled complex litigation and commercial real estate matters for the city, and rewrote the city's codes and charter. Elizabeth served served on the County Charter Task Force and chaired the Miami Dade County Ethics Commission Task Force. Prior to that, she served as Chief Legal Officer for the City of Coral Gables for 16 years, overseeing the risk management and insurance needs of the City. As the City's Chief Prosecutor on all code enforcement matters, she trained other agencies on enforcement of their codes.

Elizabeth is an accomplished trial attorney, and has been acknowledged with numerous awards. Among her multitude of honors, she has been recognized as a top attorney by the Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Trend's Legal Elite, South Florida Legal Guide, and Daily Business Review. American Registry named her among America's Most Honored Professionals Top 1% in 2016, and she is listed in Florida in The Best Lawyers in America 2018 book for real estate litigation. In 2005 she was designated City Attorney of the Year by the Florida League of Cities. In addition, she received The Torch Award, Florida International University's Top Alumni Award, and the Paul S. Buchman Award--the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association's highest honor.

Elizabeth has been an NAWJ member since 2012 and served as the Friends Committee Co-Chair for NAWJ's 2012 Miami Annual Conference. She joined the Resource Board in 2015 and was presented with the 2016 NAWJ Florence K. Murray Award for influencing women to pursue legal careers, opening doors for women attorneys, and advancing opportunities for women within the legal profession. Before joining Akerman LLP, Elizabeth obtained her B.A. from Florida International University and later earned her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

Elizabeth will be one of the panelists for "What is Your Brand – Effective Career Strategies for Attorneys and Judges" panel at our April Midyear Meeting. Thank you, Elizabeth, for continuing to serve NAWJ's mission through your work to empower and advance women in the legal profession.

Former NAWJ Executive Director Drucilla Ramey
Honored with Golden Gate University School of Law's
Judith McKelvey Distinguished Service Award

On January 30, 2018, former NAWJ Executive Director and former Dean of Golden Gate University School of Law (2009-2012) Drucilla Ramey will be honored with the inaugural Judith McKelvey Distinguished Service Award at the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco for her exemplary service to the law school and for being a strong advocate for women's issues and equality. Drucilla is a nationally recognized speaker on diversity in the judiciary, legal profession and legal academia; judicial independence; legal and judicial ethics; employment and educational discrimination.

Judith McKelvey (1935-2014) became Dean of Golden Gate University Law School in 1974 and served in that capacity through 1981. She was the second woman in the United States to become dean of a law school accredited by the American Bar Association. She was an outstanding role model for women in the legal profession and actively recruited female candidates as law students and law faculty.

Click here for more information, and a link to register to attend the GGU Law Alumni Reunion and Awards Night.

Landmark Sponsor GEICO

The partnership between NAWJ and GEICO provides insurance discounts to NAWJ members. Contact GEICO for a free quote on auto insurance to see how much you could be saving. Remember to mention your NAWJ affiliation since you could qualify for an exclusive member savings opportunity. Visit (special portal here) or call 1-800-368-2734 for your free rate quote. GEICO also can help you find great rates on homeowners, renters, motorcycle insurance, and more.

Calendar of Events
NAWJ New Jersey will present Color of Justice at Rutgers Law School in Newark on March 3, 2018.

NAWJ Midyear Meeting, "The Emerging Legal Landscape: Navigating a Path to the Future," April 12-14, 2018, New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. Contact Conference Planner Wanda Mann at for more information.

NAWJ 40th Annual Conference will take place in San Antonio, Texas from October 3-7, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk.

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