Alice Stokes Paul Award to M. Elaine Jacoby ’75 for Advancing Women’s Equality
M Elaine Jacoby ’75, of counsel at Duane Morris LLP, is the recipient of a 2014 Equality Award from the Alice Paul Institute. The Alice Paul Equality Awards are named in memor y of Alice Stokes Paul, New Jersey’s most famous suffragist.
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“This award means a great deal to me,” says Jacoby. “First, I believe in the mission of the Alice Paul Institute, which is to provide leadership training for girls and young women. Second, I believe that it is vitally important for women to serve as role models and mentors for other women, as Alice Paul did and as many intrepid women – especially alumnae of Rutgers School of Law–Newark – have done for women in the legal profession.”
Jacoby regularly puts those beliefs into practice. For almost a decade, she has led a law school Alumni Association mentoring program that works with the Women’s Law Forum, a student organization, to match alumni mentors with student mentees. The popular program also includes events to support the mentor/mentee relationships and promote successful networking experiences.
Inspired by the women’s rights movement to become a lawyer, Jacoby began practicing law in 1975 when there were few women partners in New Jersey law firms. Among her achievements, she served as resident managing partner for the New Jersey office of Epstein Becker & Green and, later, the Princeton office of Duane Morris LLP. Besides litigating major cases, she developed and implemented equal employment opportunity compliance programs designed to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment. In 1993 she published and has since annually updated her book, Designing an Effective Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Program.
Outside her practice, Jacoby has been an active member of many organizations, including serving as president of the Alumni Association, co-chair of the Employment and Labor Relations Law Committee of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association, and chair of a Fee Dispute Panel of the New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committee. “Since I graduated from law school,” she states, “we have seen great progress in not just the inclusion of women in all aspects of the profession but in their assumption of leadership roles – but there is still much work to be done.”
Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977), born in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, dedicated her life to the single cause of securing equal rights for all women. She led the final campaign for women’s right to vote and, after the 1920 victory, authored the Equal Rights Amendment and initiated gender equality principles in both the United Nations Charter and in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The award will be conferred at the Alice Paul Equality Awards Dinner on Thursday evening, March 20, 2014 at the Mt. Laurel Westin. For more information and tickets, go to www.alicepaul.org.