The National Association of Women Judges is the leading voice of women in the judiciary. Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has been a dynamic gathering of judges of all genders who are dedicated to preserving judicial independence, 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 is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded by two visionary women - Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Justice Vaino Spencer, and comprised as an association of members who are leaders from every level of the courts, including trial, federal, appellate, tribal and administrative judges from across the country. 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 are the presentation of robust women in prison events dedicated to improving reentry success rates for women in state and federal prisons. NAWJ has spearheaded many other groundbreaking programs to increase inclusiveness on the bench and in the practice of law, including the Color of Justice and MentorJet programs whose objectives include promoting, encouraging and connecting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with judges and attorneys who can aid their pursuit of a career in the legal profession. NAWJ founded the 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.” NAWJ founded the International Association of Women Judges, and NAWJ’s current members form the United States chapter of the Association.