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Paula Dow

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Paula Dow
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New Jersey Attorney General
Former officeholder
In office
2010 - January 3, 2012
Office website
Paula T. Dow (born 1955 in Yeadon, Pennsylvania) is a former Democratic Attorney General of New Jersey. She was first appointed by Republican Governor Chris Christie on December 15, 2009, to serve as acting attorney general before being unanimously confirmed by the New Jersey State Senate two months later.[1][2]

She left office on January 3, 2012 and will take a temporary role with the general counsel of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Gov. has nominated her for a seat on the Superior Court in Essex County.[3] Dow was the first black woman to hold the position in the state's history.


  • Bachelor's degree, Franklin & Marshall College (1977)
  • Juris Doctorate degree, University of Pennsylvania Law School (1980)

Professional experience

A year after receiving her bachelor's degree, Dow worked as a summer associate for the Camden-based law firm Tomar, Parks, Seliger, Simonoff & Adourian. From 1980 until 1987, she served as lawyer for Exxon in Texas, New Jersey, and New York, advising corporate officials on both environmental and labor issues. In 1987, Dow was brought aboard the Civil Division unit of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, remaining there until 1994.

For nine years she worked in the office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey in which she led the corruption case against former-Democratic Irvington mayor Sara B. Bost and oversaw the "Weeds and Seeds" program, combining aggressive policing and social programs in urban locations. She left the position only briefly in 2002 to act as counsel to then-United States Attorney Chris Christie. Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey nominated Dow as Essex County Prosecutor in 2003. Opposition by then-Newark mayor Sharpe James and Essex County senators delayed her confirmation for up to two years before being officially sworn in office by Governor Richard Codey in 2005.

Governor-elect Chris Christie selected Dow to serve as the state's attorney general on December 15, 2009.[1] She officially took up the position of acting Attorney General on January 19, 2010. The State Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved her nomination three weeks later[4] and Dow was official sworn in on February 23, 2010.[2]

Other roles

  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Member, Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey Inc.


Dow currently resides in Maplewood, New Jersey with her two children.


  • Essex County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award
  • Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers & Firefighters Association of Essex County Law Enforcement Award
  • Clinton Hill Weed and Seed Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Christian Love Baptist Church Community Service Award
  • New Jersey State Law Enforcement Officers Association Outstanding Police Work Award
  • Miller Street Academy Award for Service to Youths
  • New Jersey Chapter Achievement Award from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
  • N.A.A.C.P. (Newark Branch) Leadership in Community Advocacy Award
  • Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Office of The Attorney General
P.O. Box 080
Trenton, NJ 08625-0080

New Jersey

Street Address:
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
8th Floor, West Wing
25 Market Street
Trenton, NJ 08625-0080

Phone: 609-292-4925
Fax: 609-292-3508

External links

Suggest a link


Political offices
Preceded by
Anne Milgram
New Jersey Attorney General
Succeeded by
Jeff Chiesa (R)