Top Women in Law: Jan Bernstein | New Jersey Law Journal

Jan Bernstein from Phillips Nizer – Courtesy photo

Jan Bernstein is a partner and practice group chair at Phillips Nizer’s Hackensack office.

What do you see as your greatest achievements in the past two years, and why?

I have been a lifelong advocate and supporter of Title IX for girls in athletics in high schools in NJ. I am proud of my work with the National Women’s Law Center and the Joan and James H. Bernstein Fund. Our goal of ensuring equal opportunities in athletics for girls, especially girls at risk, addresses compliance and inequalities in girls’ high school sports in NJ. We have reached an agreement with Union City School District to improve athletics opportunities for its female students and to comply with Title IX. The school is committed to providing additional sports and teams for girls, improving the facilities and providing access to the school’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. We are excited about progress in other districts, including Camden City, and will continue to support equal opportunities for girls in high school athletics in New Jersey.

COVID-19 has been a challenge for families. Meeting their needs during the pandemic required special skills and creativity from our family lawyers. Our team has worked tirelessly to support clients through these unknown waters. We are in constant touch to resolve issues related to divorce, custody, parenthood, domestic violence, and divorce as the pandemic continues to help clients move forward with their lives. Our team has supported families with arrangements to adapt to the new circumstances. I am very proud of our response to help customers who needed quick solutions to unique problems.

What should the legal profession do to improve opportunities for women?

Women’s experiences and perspectives in law firm leadership are critical to creating a diverse and productive environment that is ripe to maximize the full range of business opportunities for the legal profession. More women are needed in management, including more women on executive committees, management committees and more women as Managing Partners. Requirements for gender representation and diversity in management committees would be an important step forward. I am happy to say that my current company has women in various leadership positions and that it is benefiting.

Best advice you’ve ever received …

The best advice I ever received was from my junior tennis coach, “Show them how smart you are, never how strong you are.”

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