The National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) is the leading voice for women in the judiciary. Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has been a dynamic gathering of women and men judges who are dedicated to preserving judicial independence while increasing the number and advancement of women judges, and providing cutting edge judicial education.
NAWJ’s mission is to promote the judicial role of protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership; fairness and equality in the courts; and equal access to justice. NAWJ also forms the United States chapter of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).
NAWJ was founded by two visionary women - Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Justice Vaino Spencer – and has always been comprised of members and leaders from every racial and ethnic demographic, all ages, every geographic region and every level of court, including trial, federal, appellate, tribal and administrative judges. From NAWJ’s inception, our leaders and members have always been very inclusive, and ethnically and racially diverse. NAWJ was instrumental in the passage of the original Violence Against Women Act and the creation of state and federal gender bias task forces. Among its cutting-edge programs is a robust Women in Prison project, dedicated to improving conditions, programming and reentry success rates for women in state and federal prisons. NAWJ has spearheaded many other groundbreaking programs to increase inclusiveness in the practice of law, including the Color of Justice and Mentorjet Projects. NAWJ founded the iconic Informed Voters Project, a voter education project founded and taught by judges, which includes an Emmy-winning PSA featuring Supreme Court Justice and NAWJ member Sandra Day O’Connor, “Fair and Free.”