Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., member of its Management Committee, and Chair of the Matrimonial & Family Law Practice Group, has been selected by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey (WPCNJ) to receive their Carol Murphy Award at the Women of Achievement PAC reception on Thursday, June 7, at 4:00 p.m., at the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association in Trenton. To register for the event, click here.
The WPCNJ is a multi-partisan organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected and appointed positions in government, protecting reproductive freedom, and promoting equal rights for women. It does this through recruiting, training, and endorsing women candidates, contributing to their campaigns through its political action committee; advocating for women’s issues; and encouraging members to support each other’s successes and volunteer in the surrounding communities.
In honor of Carol Murphy, the award is presented to a Republican woman with a successful career demonstrating leadership, advancing policies in support of women and families, and helping to pave the way for women of the next generation. Murphy was the first woman elected to the Montville Township Committee, where she served as Deputy Mayor; was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, where she served as assistant majority leader; and was the first woman to be elected as Republican Majority Conference Leader. She was elected a Morris County Freeholder and was a director of the National Association of Counties. Appointed by the Governor to serve as a Board of Public Utilities Commissioner, she was active on the national level, chairing the National Regulatory Research Institute’s Board of Directors. In the Legislature, Murphy made the well-being of women and families a priority. Her extensive career in public service opened doors for other women at all levels of government.
A resident of Watchung, Lawrence devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce and family law, and collaborative law. She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. She is a trained Family/Divorce Mediator, admitted to the rosters of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases and of Custody and Parenting Time Cases for Somerset County; is certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the preeminent family law association in America, as a Family Law Arbitrator; and is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. She has worked with clients in every area of matrimonial and family law, including divorce litigation and mediation, custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, separation and property settlement agreements, adoption and guardianship, domestic partnership matters under the Domestic Partnership Act, domestic violence and sexual abuse, and palimony. She has also handled high profile matters including celebrities and professional athletes. She takes immense pride and care in helping her clients through these difficult personal matters.
Lawrence is Secretary of the NJSBA, where she is expected to become its President in 2022. She is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, a Past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, and is a Senior Editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer, the official publication of the NJSBA Family Law Section. She works with the State Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program, providing pro bono legal assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas or on active duty in the armed forces after September 11, 2001. Lawrence was appointed to the Somerset County Domestic Violence Working Group as a representative of the Somerset County Family Law Section. She is Treasurer of the New Jersey Chapter of the AAML and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for interdisciplinary empirical study of law.
Lawrence is a member of the New Jersey Association of Justice, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, New Jersey Collaborative Law Group, Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Central New Jersey Inns of Court, and the Norris McLaughlin, P.A. Women’s Forum Steering Committee. She serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Matrimonial Certification Committee, which oversees the statewide matrimonial attorney certification process, and is a former member of The New Jersey Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics, District XIII Attorney Ethics Committee.
Lawrence was honored with the 2013 NJSBA Distinguished Legislative Service Award for her cumulative and diligent efforts on alimony reform, open adoption records, and electronic monitoring on domestic violence. In 2007, she received this annual award for the first time for her efforts to incorporate “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce under New Jersey law. Lawrence was also selected as a 2015 Attorney of The Year Finalist by the New Jersey Law Journal for her work with New Jersey alimony reform. She has also received an award from the NJSBA for her amicus curiae work on behalf of the bar.
Lawrence has been honored by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business for her dedication and contributions to New Jersey business and the community. She was selected by the Kean University Alumni Association as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna, their highest award for alumni. She was also honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women. The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named her one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the State of New Jersey. She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Family Law, Family Law Arbitration, and Family Law Mediation sections, and was named the Best Lawyers 2018 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” and the 2016 Family Law Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area. New Jersey Family has also named her as one of “New Jersey’s Best Lawyers for Families”. Lawrence has been selected as one of the TOP 10 Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys. In 2007, she received the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award from the NJSBA. She has also been selected by her peers as one of New Jersey’s Top Ten matrimonial lawyers under the age of 40, and recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of 40 accomplished and promising attorneys in the State of New Jersey under the age of 40.
To complement her practice, Lawrence involves herself in professional engagements outside the firm. She frequently serves as a speaker and panelist at divorce and family law programs and seminars. She serves as an attorney volunteer at the Resource Center for Women and Their Families in Somerset County.
Lawrence earned her bachelor’s degree from Kean College and her law degree from Seton Hall, where she graduated second in her class.
To learn more about the WPCNJ or the Carol Murphy Award, please visit www.wpcnj.org.