Appellate Division Judge Hany A. Mawla (far left) swears in NJMLA officers on July 14, 2018 (left to right): Zafar Jaferi, Nadia S. Bandukda, Faudia A. Hameed Clemenza, Ehsan F. Chowdhry, Rabiya S. Kader, Birjees “Jay” Rehman, and Mohamed B. Zohny (outgoing law student liaison).

NJ Muslim Lawyers Association Installs Officers, Issues Awards at 2018 Gala

The New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association held its third annual gala on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at the Mirage Banquet Hall in Edison. Ehsan F Chowdhry of E. F. Chowdhry Law Practice was elected for his third consecutive term as president.

Left to right: New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal and NJMLA President Ehsan F. Chowdhry.

According to a release, about 250 people attended the event, parts of which were covered by TV Asia. A traditional debka dance was performed during dinner, and Imam Hamed A. Chebli of the Islamic Society for Central Jersey mosque gave a religious supplication. The association issued the “Social Justice Award” to the Center for Constitutional Rights, Muslim Advocates and Gibbons for their work on Hassan v. City of New York, which brought claims against the New York Police Department over surveillance of Muslim communities in New Jersey; the “Outstanding Scholar Award” to Abed A. Awad of Awad & Khoury, for his work on complex matrimonial and Islamic-related legal issues; the “Religious Liberty Award” to Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler for their work on the Bayonne mosque land use case; and the “Landmark Award” to Dr. Shereef Elnahal, New Jersey’s commissioner of health—who, according to the NJMLA, is the highest-ranking Muslim cabinet member in the state’s history.

Appellate Division Judge Hany A. Mawla swore in the new officers in a ceremony that included the U.S. flag, a copy of the U.S. Constitution, the New Jersey Constitution of 1947, and a historic copy of the Quran. In addition to Chowdhry’s reelection as president, the new board members are: Rabiya S. Kader, first vice president; Nadia S. Bandukda, second vice president; Birjees “Jay” Rehman, director of legislative outreach & policy; Zafar Jaferi, treasurer; Adil S. Ahmed, secretary; Faudia A. Hameed Clemenza, social media chair; and Chundzom M. Lopez, law student liaison. Chowdhry thanked the outgoing board members, including Bisma Muhammed and Lubna Qazi-Chowdhry. Earlier in the week, a legislative proclamation was issued by the General Assembly, proposed by Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, honoring the awardees, Imam Chebli and Chowdhry.

NJMLA is one of 12 diversity bar associations in New Jersey recognized by the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Administrative Office of Courts, the New Jersey Supreme Court, and the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law, according to the release. The organization was formed in 2006 and is growing, the NJMLA said.