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Task Force On Diversity Renames Annual Award For Mel Narol

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The NJSBA Task Force on Diversity will now call its annual award The Mel Narol Excellence in Diversity Award to commemorate the former president-elect’s commitment to the work of and enthusiastic support of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s diversity initiatives. Announced by Task Force Chair Desha Lang Jackson at the July 1 memorial event held in celebration of Narol, the award will be 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 on the project to make the diversity effort within the NJSBA a permanent order of business through standing committee status,” said Jackson. “The members of the task force 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 Narol’s leadership, the first ever Specialty Bar Summit held this past Feb. 22 was underwritten by the NJSBA in what he 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,” she said.

In January of this year, Narol discussed with task force staff liaison Cynthia Pellegrino, his thoughts on his many bar association activities and projects. He told Pellegrino that of all his bar involvement, he was most proud of being a member of the Diversity Task Force. He said that because of the group’s focus on timely diversity goals and successful programs, they have brought many lawyers to the Law Center who might not otherwise participate. Narol felt strongly that the proactive work of the task force would lead to the achievement of many of the objectives he valued related to general state bar membership.

The Mel Narol Excellence in Diversity Award will be presented annually at a luncheon to take place at the NJSBA’s annual meeting. Previous recipients of the Task Force on Diversity’s honor have been the following:

1999: Cynthia M. Jacob, Esq. and Karol Corbin Walker, Esq.

2000: Honorable Marie L. Garibaldi

2001: Raymond M. Brown, Esq.

2002: Stanley C. Van Ness, Esq.

The New Jersey State Bar Association, incorporated in 1899, is dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and the public, to reforming and improving the legal system and to aiding in the administration of justice.