On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Paulette Brown, Partner and Chief Diversity Officer of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, and President-elect of the American Bar Association.
In August 2014, Brown will become the first African American woman to serve as President of the American Bar Association (ABA). Brown will serve as president-elect for one year before taking over as president in August 2015.
A native of Baltimore, she attended Howard University with the intention of becoming a social worker, but later decided on studying law. After graduating from Howard, Brown received her law degree from the Seton Hall University School of Law, and has been practicing law since 1976. She is also a partner in a New Jersey law firm where she specializes in labor law, employment law and commercial litigation.
Brown was the former president of the National Bar Association, a group that formed in 1925 because the American Bar Association would not grant membership to African American attorneys. And she was the president and founder of the Association of Black Women Lawyers in New Jersey. She testified before Congress about an initiative to diversify the federal bench and led a delegation that monitored the first free and democratic elections in South Africa in 1994.