FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2023
The Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey (“HBA-NJ”)
The Coalition of Affinity Bar Associations of New Jersey (CABA-NJ) – consisting of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey (ABWL-NJ), the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, Inc. (APALA-NJ), the Garden State Bar Association (GSBA), the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey (HBA-NJ), and the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ) – supports the efforts of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) to defend 13 At-Large Seats, which include Seats on the Board of Trustees, the Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee, and the Nominating Committee of the NJSBA (“Protected Seats”). Recently, a New Jersey state court found that NJSBA improperly reserved the Protected Seats for members of underrepresented groups. CABA-NJ supports efforts by the NJSBA to defend the Seats, which, due to the court’s decision, are in jeopardy.
CABA-NJ is comprised of the above identified five bar associations. Each association has diverse memberships and is purposed to represent and protect the interests of New Jersey’s diverse communities through policies, regulations, and collaboration with other bar associations, including NJSBA. Throughout the longstanding relationship with NJSBA, the organizations that comprise CABA-NJ have witnessed, and commend, the efforts taken by NJSBA to diversify its Boards and Committees in a lawful and ethical manner. NJSBA’s establishment of the Protected Seats clearly reflects changes in our state’s demographics in the general and professional populations, and the NJSBA’s response to those changes. Our diverse communities must have a voice in effectuating positive change by having a seat at the table at the NJSBA alongside New Jersey’s leaders. The elimination of the Protected Seats, we believe, works to undermine these goals.
CABA-NJ will closely monitor the developments of litigation related to the court’s decision. CABA-NJ is prepared to provide the NJSBA with the support required to preserve the Protected Seats so that the leadership and membership of the NJSBA can continue to be diversified.
The Coalition of Affinity Bar Associations of New Jersey
Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, Inc.
Garden State Bar Association
Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey
South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey