1999 Distinguished Alumni - H. Joan Pennington, Esq.

1999 Distinguished Alumni - H. Joan Pennington, Esq.

H. Joan Pennington, Esq., earned an associate of arts degree with highest honors in liberal arts in 1975. She did not allow her loss of vision to prevent her from furthering her education. Ms. Pennington went on to earn a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and her juris doctor degree from Rutgers-Camden. While attending college, she raised six children—David, Denise, Dale, Darlene, Donna and Diane—as a single parent.

As a former victim of domestic violence, Ms. Pennington practices law exclusively for the benefit of abused women and other women. In 1992, she founded the National Center for Protective Parents in Trenton. Five years later, she founded the Women’s Law Project (WLP), a nonprofit organization that operates under the aegis of the National Center for Protective Parents. The WLP provides sliding scale or pro bono matrimonial legal services. Recently the project received a grant of $236,998 from the U. S. Department of Justice to hire two additional attorneys.

Ms. Pennington was presented with a New Jersey Senate resolution in 1996 for meritorious service, leadership and commitment in the field of domestic violence law. She received the 1995 Mary Philbrook Award (named after the first woman attorney in New Jersey) from the Women’s Law Caucus, Rutgers School of Law. The Trenton resident was the first attorney to be certified in the State of New Jersey as a domestic violence specialist. She received the Domestic Violence Advocate Award from the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, and the YWCA of Trenton named her a “Woman of Inspiration.”