A native of Baltimore, she attended Howard University with the intention of becoming a social worker, but later decided on studying law. After graduating from Howard, Brown received her law degree from the Seton Hall University School of Law, and has been practicing law since 1976. She is also a partner in a New Jersey law firm where she specializes in labor law, employment law and commercial litigation.
“When I first started going to court and so forth,” said Brown, “I had the usual experiences. ‘Are you the defendant? Are you the court reporter? Are you the plaintiff? No? Well then, who are you then?’ It never occurred to them that I could be the lawyer.
“Her ascension to the presidency just opens the door for so many African-American females to even believe that that is possible,” said Alicia Wilson, the fundraising committee co-chair for the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys of Maryland.
“She has broken down barriers and opened up doors and kept them open for a whole host of African-American women attorneys,” she added.
Brown said she believes that her selection by the ABA leadership as its next president carries with it a great responsibility. Though the term of ABA president only lasts one year, Brown said she is determined to set goals that she can produce tangible results within the term length of her position.
Read more: Paulette Brown to Become the First Black Woman President of the American Bar Association