The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) has been the central organization for the law profession in New Jersey since 1899. Continuing a tradition of self-regulation, continuing education and community services, the NJSBA is instrumental in shaping the image of the law and in helping citizens realize their access to the legal system in New Jersey.
The NJSBA's mission statement includes several key goals that the association strives to uphold among them: To serve, protect, foster and promote the personal and professional interests of its members; to serve as the voice of New Jersey attorneys to other organizations, governmental entities and the public with regard to the law, legal profession and legal system; to promote access to the justice system and fairness in its administration; to foster professionalism and pride in the profession and the NJSBA; to provide educational opportunities to New Jersey attorneys to enhance the quality of legal services and the practice of law; and to provide education to the New Jersey public to enhance awareness of the legal profession and legal system.
The NJSBA is currently led by Lynn Fontaine Newsome, a partner with Donahue, Hagan, Klein, Newsome & O'Donnell, PC of Morristown. Recently The New Jersey Cooperator sat down with Wayne J. Positan, the immediate past president and a partner with the Roseland-based law firm Lum Drasco & Positan LLC, to find out more about how his organization carries out its mission.
What are the origins of the NJSBA?
Early on, he said, the NJSBA was concerned that the reputation of the law professional was in jeopardy. Drawn-out lawsuits and negative press led to an overhaul of the Court of Errors and Appeals and the adoption of a Code of Ethics. Meanwhile, a Committee on Law Reform aimed its efforts at improving the practice of law.