Category: News

The Promise of Restorative Justice: Reduced Pressure on Courts, Reduced Recidivism, Increased Public Trust in the Rule of Law

In a thought provoking session at NASJE’s 2016 Annual Conference in Burlington, Vermont, Dr. Johannes Wheeldon and the Honorable David Suntag offered the underlying premises of restorative justice — while attempting to respond to criminal acts, the justice system itself causes harm, and the participation of those in the justice system is often limited to hiring a lawyer to navigate complex procedures. This lack of participation by those whose lives are affected leads to a default society. Restorative justice, on the other hand, demands meaningful participation and affords an opportunity to articulate our needs.

Hidden Treasures on the NASJE Website

The Education and Curriculum Committee hosted its first “Article Club” call-inar for 2017 on February 23. The call-inar, Hidden Treasures on the NASJE Website, focused on the hidden gems within the website. The “explorers” led 17 participants through the many “caverns” to discover the treasures that comprise the website as the participants followed along on their computers.

Law Day 2017

law day 2017

Law Day is held every year on May 1 for the purpose of celebrating the role of law in our society and to cultivate a deeper understanding of the legal profession. This year’s theme is “The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy.” ABA President Linda Klein’s videotaped message is a good way to begin learning about this year’s theme.

Karen Thorson Award Nominations Due March 31

Karen Thorson

Karen Thorson Award nominations are now being accepted by the NASJE Board. If you know a career judicial educator who has made significant contributions to the profession and to NASJE, consider nominating him or her for this award. Nominations are due by Friday, March 31, 2017. You will find a link to the nomination form in the NASJE Member Area.

Longtime Educator Diane Cowdrey Retires

After nearly 28 years in Judicial Education, Diane Cowdrey of California has retired. Diane credits NASJE with the professionalization of judicial branch education, and is thankful for the network of colleagues NASJE provided for her during her career.

Judging Science in the Courthouse

This expanding universe of scientific knowledge has engendered many discussions about the perceived need to increase the amount of science based education judges receive. Some argue that judges should be educated like scientists. The problem intrinsic this idea is that judges are specialists in the law, and generalists in everything else. Moreover, the vast majority of judges turned away from a scientific education, at least by the time they were in college and certainly by the time they were in law school. Law school teaches a different manner of seeking the truth than the scientific method.

Report of the Education and Curriculum Committee

The Education and Curriculum Committee is hard at work on a number of initiatives designed to enhance the professional lives of judicial educators. The fifteen-member committee, co-chaired by Judith Anderson of Washington and Anthony Simones of Missouri, made the decision to split into three subcommittees in order to effectively achieve the goals of the group.

From the President (Winter 2017)

To my NASJE colleagues: As if you need any more reminders that the new year is upon us…I’m going to add my well wishes for a happy, healthy, educational 2017! So often, we think about January as a time for…

Phil Schopick Retires at Year End

Phil Schopick

After more than 25 years in Judicial Branch education, Phil Schopick of the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College is retiring. Phil was editor of NASJE News (the predecessor of our news and information website) for about 10 years and was active in NASJE on the international committee and communications committee.

Tax-deductible contributions to NASJE

Dear NASJE Colleagues, As I receive solicitations from other associations and organizations, I am reminded of my duties as NASJE’s President to … promote the growth of NASJE and the strengthening of its position within the court community and ensure NASJE’s…

From the President (Fall 2016)

To my NASJE colleagues,  Best wishes for a joyous holiday season, time with family and friends, good health and happiness. If it’s possible, I encourage you to take a short break from thinking about judicial branch education and prepare to…

VIDEO: Jim Drennan receives Thorson Award

James Drennan

James “Jim” Drennan echoes the qualities honored by the Karen Thorson Award through his forty-year University of North Carolina School of Government career that started in 1974, and through his contributions to NASJE. Current NASJE communications committee chair Lynne Alexander sat down with the Jim for a short discussion about judicial education.

Impressions of the NASJE Conference by a Newbie

Mary Ann Koory

Last month, I found myself sharing a taxi from the Vermont Airport to the Burlington Hilton late Saturday night with another newly minted judicial educator, Meg Rowe. Meg and I were chatting in the back seat – we’d just met — when the taxi driver asked us what “judicial education” was. Even as newbies, we’d answered that question a few times already and offered him practiced explanations. When we were finished, he said, “Do you work on those new drug courts? Because the one here saved my life.” And he told us a bit about himself, offering us a story and a life that connected the NASJE Conference and our new profession to something more real than practiced explanations about judicial education. Our cab ride unexpectedly reminded us of the human value of the work we do.

Ending the Criminalization of Mental Illness

God Knows Where I Am

This compelling blended learning event at the 2016 NAJSE annual conference combined experiential learning and more traditional learning. Session participants watched the heart-wrenching, award-winning documentary God Knows Where I Am, participated in a discussion about the film with colleague Joan Bishop, and listened to a presentation by Judge Steve Leifman about his judicial experiences and interactions with the mental health system and the mentally ill appearing before him.