Paulette Brown is the first woman of color to have led the American Bar Association (ABA) as its president (2015-2016) in the Association’s history. As the leader of this 400,000-person voluntary membership organization, Attorney Brown was responsible for governance, advocacy, and serving as the voice and face of the ABA. Her presidential initiatives, through her Diversity & Inclusion 360 Commission, resulted in the development and approval of an unprecedented number of policies by the ABA, which have had a long-lasting impact on diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and the justice system. She also made history by simultaneously serving as the first person of color to chair the Labor & Employment Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Attorney Brown, who has practiced for more than 45 years; founded her own law firm; and served as in-house counsel for Fortune 500 companies, as a partner in AmLaw 100 firms, and as a municipal court judge, is also a past president of the National Bar Association (NBA). She is founder and principal of MindSetPower LLC and a retired partner and chief diversity & inclusion officer at an AmLaw 100 law firm. She chairs the board of the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice and is internationally recognized for her dedication and efforts relating to diversity, equity, & inclusion, including the impact of implicit bias, and is a frequent speaker and educator on these topics. Attorney Brown is the co-author of two groundbreaking reports, “Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms” and “Left Out and Left Behind: The Hurdles, Hassles and Heartaches of Achieving Long-Term Legal Careers for Women of Color.” She has also authored several articles relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Attorney Brown is a graduate of Howard University and Seton Hall University School of Law. She has been honored with both universities’ alumni awards and has received numerous other awards and honors, including the Margaret Brent Woman Lawyers of Achievement and Spirit of Excellence Awards from the ABA and the C. Francis Stradford Award, the highest award conferred by the NBA. Brown holds three honorary doctorate degrees.