Press Releases

New York City Bar Association Announces 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Winners


Eric Friedman
(212) 382-6754

Kathryn Inman
(212) 382-6656

New York City Bar Association Announces 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Winners

New York, April 28, 2014 – The New York City Bar Association will present its 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Awards at the 30th Anniversary Diversity and Inclusion Celebration Dinner on June 18th. The award recognizes the critical role individual attorneys have played in initiating and sustaining change within their organizations and the overall New York legal community. The award recipients embody the New York City Bar’s Statement of Diversity Principles, which defines diversity as an inclusive concept, encompassing race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, disability and marital and parental status.

The 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award winners are:

Michelle J. AndersonDean, CUNY School of Law
Michelle J. Anderson has been Dean of the City University of New York School of Law since 2006. Under her leadership, CUNY obtained the National Jurist ranking as the second most diverse law school in the nation for both faculty and student body diversity. Approximately 44 percent of CUNY Law students are people of color. Of those tenured and tenure-track faculty hired under Dean Anderson’s leadership, two-thirds are women, half are people of color, and one-third are LGBT. The school also earned Insight into Diversity’s “Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award.” In her first year as dean, Anderson worked with the school’s top leadership to conceptualize and launch CUNY Law’s Pipeline to Justice Program. In its first year, the Pipeline to Justice accounted for a 20 percent increase in students of color among the incoming class. The American Bar Association cited Dean Anderson’s article, “Legal Education Reform, Diversity, and Access to Justice,” in its amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the affirmative action case Fisher v. University of Texas. Dean Anderson graduated from Yale Law School, where she was Notes Editor on the Yale Law Journal. She clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge William Norris.

Joseph M. DraytonPartner, Cooley LLP
Joseph Drayton is a Partner in the New York office of Cooley LLP and is an experienced trial attorney who was named among the National Bar Association’s Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40 in 2010. For 2012 and 2013, Mr. Drayton has been named to the IAM Patent1000 list, a recognition that honors the top patent practitioners in the world. Mr. Drayton’s practice background includes a broad range of intellectual property and complex commercial matters. Mr. Drayton is a member of the New York City Bar’s Enhance Diversity in the Profession Committee, the Director of the National Bar Association, Region 2, which represents diverse bar associations in Connecticut, New York and Vermont, and the immediate past president of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. Mr. Drayton also serves as a board member of the New York County Lawyers Association, a Division Director in the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation and a board member of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Inc. Mr. Drayton holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Natalia Martín & Karla G. SanchezCo-founders, “Cafecitos Network”
Natalia Martín & Karla G. Sanchez created the “Cafecitos” Network in 2006 with the goal of bringing together Hispanic women attorneys in different fields and stages of their careers on a regular basis to share ideas, experiences, contacts, and resources; to promote the professional development of Latina lawyers; and to foster partnerships. The “Cafecitos” Network has since grown to more than 630 members.

Natalia Martín is the Director of Diversity at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. From September 2005 through August 2007, she served as the Firm’s Director of Legal Personnel and Professional Development. Previously, she was an Associate Dean at Yale Law School, where she worked from 1991 to 2005. Ms. Martín was an Associate at Simpson Thacher’s Corporate Department from 1987 to 1991. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1982 and her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1985. In 2004, Ms. Martín received the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association’s Achievement Award, which honors Latinos who have shown outstanding achievement in the field of law and commitment to the Latino community. In March 2007, she received the Flor de Maga Award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s Women’s Committee in recognition of her efforts as co-founder of Cafecitos Network. In June 2010, she received the “Latina Trailblazer” Award from LatinoJustice/PRLDEF. Ms. Martín is a member of the New York City Bar’s Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession and served on the New York State Bar Association’s Diversity Committee from 2009 to 2011.

Karla G. Sanchez is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice for the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Previously, she was a litigation partner and the first Hispanic partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where she was Chair of their Diversity Committee and Chair of the Patterson Attorneys of Color. Prior to joining Patterson Belknap, Ms. Sanchez served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Deborah A. Batts, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law cum laude and Order of the Coif, where she was the President of the Latin American Law Students Association. Ms. Sanchez has been recognized as one of Crain’s New York Business’s 40 Under Forty and Hispanic Business’s 100 Influentials. She is a member of the Policy Committee of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Department, New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She was the former Vice Chair of the Board for LatinoJustice: PRLDEF, former Advisory Member for Legal Outreach and former Board of Advisor Member of the Fordham Minority Mentorship Program. Ms. Sanchez co-founded the Hispanic Lawyers Society of New York.

Tickets to the Celebration Dinner may be purchased on the City Bar’s website.

For further information please contact Clare Plunkett at (212) 382-6772 or

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.