Diversity Standing Committee



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Roger Lai 
Office of Legislative Services
Legislative Counsel’s Office
PO Box 068
Trenton, NJ 07625

Ileana Montes
Law Office of Ileana Montes
1199 Route 22 East
Mountainside, NJ 07092

Maria P. Vallejo 
Chasan Lamparello Mallon & Cappuzzo, PC
300 Lighting Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094

Jeffrey Bernstein
Supti Bhattacharya
David Blow 
Lisa R. Burke
Dean L. Burrell
Melinda Colon Cox
Monica De Los Rios
Luis J. Diaz 
Leslie A. Farber
Jessica A. Flynn
Lora L. Fong
Norbert A. Garcia 
Robyn B. Gigl
Lisette Guzman
Ayesha Krishnan Hamilton 
Valerie A. Jackson
Markiana Julceus
Christopher J. Keating
Shawn M. LaTourette
James Lewis
Joseph L. Linares 
Eugenia Lynch
Yolande Marlow 
Carmen E. Mediola
Robert J. Menendez
Arianna Moure
Eleonore Ofosu-Antwi
Evelyn Padin
Samule J. Perez
Suzette Price
Sharon Price-Cates
Thomas H. Prol
Rajeh A. Saadeh
Andrew J. Sarrol
Cheyne R. Scott 
Natalie Watson

Trustee Liaison
Roger Lai


Promotes participation in bar-related activities by those lawyers and lawyer groups who have not previously participated significantly in such activities, including minorities, women, younger lawyers, government lawyers, in-house counsel, physically-challenged and other similarly situated lawyers or lawyer groups.

The Diversity Committee will continue to nurture diversity through: relations with the specialty bar associations and all Association sections and committees; organizing educational and social programming; monitoring and fostering inclusiveness in the continuing activities, programs and projects of the Association and its related organizations, such as the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, and the like.


History of the award and criteria: 

Commemorating Mel Narol’s commitment to the work of and enthusiastic support of the Task Force on Diversity, the Diversity Award is presented to those members of the NJSBA who have spearheaded inclusion and made strides for women and minority lawyers.
Mel was a "charter" member of the Task Force and worked especially on the project to make the diversity effort within the NJSBA a permanent order of business. With Mel’s leadership, what began as a small “task force” has grown into permanent "standing committee status." The members of the Task Force on Diversity turned to Mel for his keen insight on the NJSBA, as an organization, and sought his advice on a variety of philosophical and logistical issues.  

Through Mel’s leadership, enthusiasm and impetus, the first Specialty Bar Summit was underwritten by the NJSBA in, what Mel characterized as, “a necessary show of support” for diversity initiatives. Mel felt strongly that the NJSBA should be at the forefront of inclusion, strategically, for the sake of the development of membership, and because it was simply the right and most natural thing to do for today and the future.
Naming this award in his honor commemorates and celebrates Mel’s work on the Diversity Task Force, his collegiality and his unswerving kindness.
Past Recipients -- 
2019 - Assemblywoman Annette Quijano
2018 - Thomas H. Prol
2017 - Miles S. Winder III
2016 - Julien X. Neals / Evan Wolfson
2015 – Saul A. Wolfe
2014 – Hon. Alberto Rivas
2013 – Hon. Esther Salas
2012 – Karol Corbin Walker
2011 – Paulette Brown / Hon. Shirley Tolentino
2010 – Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey, Inc.
2009 – Hon. Anne E. Thompson
2008 – Raymond M. Brown
2007 – Acting Dean Ronald K. Chen
2006 – Zulima V. Farber
2005—Hon. Joseph Rodriguez
2004—Rutgers Law School—Minority Students Program
2003—Hon. James Coleman and posthumously to Mel Narol
2002—Stanley Van Ness
2001—Raymond M. Brown
2000—Hon. Marie Garibaldi
1999—Cynthia M. Jacob and Karol Corbin Walker