New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

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Karen Brown Honored With Young Lawyers Division Service to the Community Award

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Karen Brown, Passaic County’s first African-American assistant county counsel and adjuster, and Maplewood resident, received the Service to the Community Award from the Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey State Bar Association at the organization’s recent annual meeting in Atlantic City. The Service to the Community Award is presented to a young lawyer who has devoted substantial time and energy to community-oriented activities such as pro bono work, government service, charity work, or public service.

Brown was the first ever graduate from Rutgers Law School–Newark to receive a prestigious fellowship from the National Association for Public Interest Law. During her tenure with the Passaic County Legal Aid Society following graduation, Brown engaged in litigation to ensure that the poor, elderly, and disabled have access to decent housing, adequate relocation assistance and social services.

In her capacity as assistant county counsel, Brown has worked on various legal matters that received media attention. She is currently working with the United States Department of Justice and the Hudson County Counsel’s Office defending a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union regarding individuals detained at the Passaic and Hudson County jails as part of the investigation into the September 11 terrorist attacks. Brown is also working on a matter against New Jersey Transit and the New Jersey Department of Transportation involving a county ordinance establishing a weight rating limitation on a dangerous county road where several residents were killed.

Brown also holds various leadership positions in the Passaic County community. She is the Passaic County Board of Social Services commissioner, Camp Hope Commission president, secretary of the board of directors of the Paterson Education Fund, New Jersey Community Development Corporation trustee and a member of the board of directors of the Inner-Faith Performing Arts Center. She continues to provide pro bono legal assistance to poor individuals throughout the City of Paterson and community organizations such as the Paterson Democratic Municipal Committee. She also helped establish Paterson’s first Democratic Club. In addition, Brown coaches girl’s basketball for South Orange Middle School and is currently the host of the “Recreation Show” for the Paterson Department of Recreation.

Brown is a magna cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University and received her law degree from Rutgers Law School–Newark in 1998.

The Young Lawyers Division of the NJSBA organizes and promotes activities, including continuing legal education seminars that are of assistance to new lawyers in the practice of law, and encourages pro bono and community service involvement by all new lawyers.

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.