Jan L. Bernstein, NJ Family Law Chair, recognized as a Top Woman in Law by New Jersey Law Journal11/23/2020
"Our Top Women in Law honorees always encompass the best the legal profession in New Jersey has to offer, from professional accomplishment, to leadership, to mentorship. And this year is no different in that regard. What might be a bit different about this year is that the stories, thoughts, insights and advice shared here by the honorees seem more valuable than ever."
What do you see as your biggest accomplishments over the past two years, and why?
A lifelong advocate and supporter of Title IX for girls in athletics in NJ high schools, I am proud of my work with the National Women’s Law Center and the Joan and James H. Bernstein Fund. Our goal of ensuring equal opportunity in athletics for girls, particularly at-risk girls, addresses compliance and inequities in girls’ high school sports in NJ. We reached an agreement with Union City School District to improve athletic opportunities for its female students and comply with Title IX. The school has made commitments to offer additional sports and teams for girls, make improvements to facilities, and allowing access the school’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. We are excited about progress in other districts, including Camden City, and will continue to support equal opportunity for girls high school athletics in New Jersey.COVID-19 has been challenging for families. Addressing their needs during the pandemic has required special skills and creativity on the part of our Family lawyers. Our team has worked tirelessly to support clients through these unchartered waters. We are in constant contact to resolve issues of separation, custody, parenting time, domestic violence and divorce as the pandemic wears on to help clients move forward with their lives. Our team has supported families with arrangements to adjust to the new circumstances. I am very proud of our response to help clients who needed prompt resolutions to unique problems.
What does the legal profession need to do to improve opportunities for women?
Women’s experiences and perspectives in law firm leadership are critical to creating a diverse and productive environment ripe for maximizing the full range of business opportunities for the legal profession. More women are needed in management, including more women on executive committees, management committees, and more women as Managing Partners. Gender and diversity representation requirements on the managing committees would be a significant step forward. I am happy to be able to say that my current firm does have women in several leadership positions, and is the better for it.
Best advice you ever got…
The best advice I ever got was from my junior tennis coach: “Show them how smart you are, never how strong you are.”
by David Gialanella - New Jersey Law Journal - November 20, 2020