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Paulette Brown

Lawyer Paulette Brown was born on April 28, 1951 in Baltimore, Maryland to Wilbur Brown, a truck driver, and Thelma Brown, a homemaker. She attended Baltimore’s P.S. 145 and Calverton Junior High School, graduating from Northwestern High School in 1969. Brown studied sociology at Howard University before changing her major to political science. In 1973, she received her B.S. degree in political science from Howard University, and went on to receive her J.D. degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1976.

Brown spent nine years working as in-house counsel at several Fortune 500 companies, including National Steel Corporation, Prudential Insurance Company of America, Inc., and Buck Consultants Inc. Brown was the founding partner of Brown & Childress, and worked as a solo practitioner for sixteen years. In 1983, she was elected president of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey. In 1993, Brown & Childress merged with another firm to become Brown, Lofton, Childress & Wolfe, New Jersey’s largest minority firm at the time. That same year, she was elected president of the National Bar Association, and later served as a municipal court judge in Plainfield, New Jersey. As president of the NBA, Brown led a delegation to monitor the first free and democratic elections in South Africa in 1994, and became a member of the American Bar Association in 1997. Brown joined Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP as a partner in January 2000, and then she moved to the New Jersey office of Edwards & Angell LLP in 2005. In 2007, she was elected as a member of the American Bar Association’s board of governors. She co-chaired the Commission on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools in 2010, and in 2015, became the first woman of color to be elected as president of the American Bar Association.

Brown received numerous awards, including the National Bar Association’s highest award, the C. Francis Stradford Award. She also received the Gertrude Rush and Cora T. Walker Legacy Awards from the National Bar Association, the Medal of Honor Award from the New Jersey Bar Foundation, the Spirit of Excellence and Margaret Brent Awards from the American Bar Association, the Award of Excellence from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Robert L. Carter Legacy Award from the New Jersey chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. She also received the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism. Brown was repeatedly selected by U.S. News as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of commercial litigation. She was named to the Ebony Power 100 List in 2014, and was selected as one of the 50 “Most Influential Minority Lawyers in the U.S.” by the National Law Journal and one of the country’s “Most Influential Black Lawyers” by Savoy Magazine.

Brown has one son, Dijaun Brown.

Paulette Brown was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 28, 2015.

Accession Number

A2015.001

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/29/2015

Last Name

Brown

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

Alexander Hamilton Elementary School

Calverton Elementary/Middle School

Northwestern High School

Howard University

Seton Hall University School of Law

First Name

Paulette

Birth City, State, Country

Baltimore

HM ID

BRO61

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

To whom much is given much is required

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

4/28/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Morristown

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood or roasted root vegetables

Short Description

Lawyer Paulette Brown (1951 - ) was a partner at Locke Lord LLP, and the first woman of color elected President of the American Bar Association.

Employment

Edward Wildman Palmer

Locke Lord LLP

Municipal Court of Plainfield

Favorite Color

Green

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paulette Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown talks about her mother's early years in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown lists her siblings and grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown recalls her early childhood in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown remembers attending her junior prom

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown describes the sights of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Paulette Brown describes the smells and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Paulette Brown talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown recalls the teachers who influenced her in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown reflects upon her experience at Calverton Junior High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown remembers attending Wayland Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown describes Northwestern High School in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown talks about the civil rights activities during her teenage years

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls her introduction to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown talks about her college friends

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown describes her summer employment

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown remembers applying to law school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown recalls her student government participation at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown talks about the changes to Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown remembers Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown remembers Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown talks about the Black American Law Students Association

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls her internship in the Newark Mayor's Policy and Development Office

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown recalls becoming the employee benefits lawyer at the National Steel Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown describes her career at the National Steel Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown talks about her work at Buck Consultants

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown remembers her early networking opportunities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown recalls the start of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown describes the challenges faced by African American women attorneys

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown describes her presidency of the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls becoming a National Bar Association deputy regional director

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown recalls her election as vice president of the National Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown describes the history of the National Bar Association

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown talks about the National Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown talks about her presidency of the National Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown remembers the first democratic elections in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown talks about her house in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown talks about her work with African bar associations

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown describes the challenges faced by the National Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown talks about the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown describes her early work in the American Bar Association

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown talks about the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown talks about the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown describes trajectory of her private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown recalls the clients she acquired in her private practice

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown talks about minority-led law firms, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown talks about minority-led law firms, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown recalls her decision to leave the firm of Duane Morris LLP

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown remembers joining the law firm of Edwards and Angell

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown talks about her experiences at the firm of Edwards and Angell

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown recalls her election as president of the American Bar Association

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown talks about the support of Dennis Archer

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown talks about her goals for the American Bar Association, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown talks about her goals for the American Bar Association, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paulette Brown shares her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paulette Brown shares her advice for aspiring African American law professionals

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paulette Brown reflects upon the future of the law profession

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paulette Brown recalls adopting her son

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paulette Brown talks about her son's education

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paulette Brown recalls the support of her family during her son's adoption

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paulette Brown reflects upon her experiences of parenting

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paulette Brown talks about her son's career

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paulette Brown describes the challenges faced by the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Paulette Brown reflects upon her legacy and the legacy of the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Paulette Brown reflects upon the challenges faced by African American women