March is Women’s History Month; a month federally designated to celebrate historical and contemporaneous contributions made by women. This month and every day, we at Javerbaum Wurgaft honor the myriad accomplishments achieved by women in the law.
While the national average for the last twenty years has seen women graduating law school at roughly the same rate as men, the advancement of women in the field has stagnated. A recent large firm survey found that women only comprise 21.46% of partners. When breaking that figure down between equity and non-equity partners, female equity partnership drops to an abysmal 17.4%.1 At Javerbaum Wurgaft, we confront inequities like this by seeking solutions internally and through active participation in the legal community.
Javerbaum Wurgaft is committed to supporting the promotion of women. Over the past several years, the women of Javerbaum Wurgaft have created opportunities for women to come together to network and engage in meaningful dialogues to address continued inequities in the profession. Every year, Diane Cardoso organizes a Ladies’ Networking spa day at the New Jersey Association of Justice’s Boardwalk Convention in Atlantic City. She also initiated an annual Ladies’ Networking Dinner at the New Jersey Association of Justice’s Meadowlands Convention. In July of 2016, Annabelle Steinhacker hosted a Women’s Networking Event addressing systemic sexism in the law and facilitating an open discussion aimed at practical solutions. These events provide unique opportunities for women to make professional connections and to organize and confront obstacles impairing the progress of women within the legal community.
To advance gender parity, the women at Javerbaum Wurgaft occupy leadership positions in New Jersey and national legal organizations. Diane Cardoso is a state revitalization delegate to the American Association of Justice. She also is a board member of the New Jersey Association of Justice, the Treasurer for the Hudson County Bar Association and a fellow of the New Jersey State Bar Association Leadership Academy for 2017-18. Judge Marguerite Simon serves as the Commissioner of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission and was selected as a member of the National Association of Distinguished Neutrals. Annabelle Steinhacker is a trustee for the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey. She also serves as a Director on the Board of Directors, at her alma mater, for the Maine Law Alumni Association. Laura Nicolette is the Young Lawyers Trustee to the Union County Bar Association. Jessica Bland is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law, and mentors second and third-year members of SHU’s Interscholastic Moot Court Board. By assuming leadership roles, the women of Javerbaum Wurgaft seek to include a broader perspective and greater access in New Jersey’s leading legal organizations.
All the women of Javerbaum Wurgaft maintain memberships among New Jersey’s many legal organizations including the New Jersey Association of Justice, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, Brennan-Vanderbilt Inn of Court, and many of the county bar associations. In addition to active participation within organizations, the women of Javerbaum Wurgaft regularly lecture at legal symposiums ranging from NJICLE and NJAJ to the Women and the Law annual seminar hosted by the New Jersey Defense Association.
Backed by a consistently supportive roster of attorneys, both male and female, Javerbaum Wurgaft continues to be a change-maker in gender inequity in the State of New Jersey. Actively advocating for women by providing networking opportunities and a leading voice among the many legal organizations in our State ensures a stronger legal community accessible to all. A more diverse profession benefits not only the legal community but our clients as well. We are proud of our commitment to promoting women, to our continued fight against unconscious bias and systemic sexism, and to our promise to pursue greater accessibility and parity in the legal profession.