Civil rights lawyer Karen Thompson, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ), was named attorney of the year last Thursday by the New Jersey Law Journal, the state’s most prominent law publication.
Thompson argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court several times in 2020 and 2021, fighting on behalf of defendants who she argued were denied fair trials due to racial bias.
“Karen is an activist at heart whose brilliance and impact go far beyond the courtroom,” said ACLU-NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha in a statement. “She brings a humanity to social justice work, and she never forgets the people behind the advocacy, both as individual clients and as people struggling to advance their freedom. Karen embodies what social justice is about and uses the law as a tool to fight for it.”
Thompson was chosen from a field of three finalists, the other two being Joseph Lubertazzi of McCarter & English and Nandini Nair of Greenspoon Marder. At the same awards ceremony Thursday night, the New Jersey Law Journal also named Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi as the law firm of the year.