In February 2012, the NASJE board established the Karen Thorson Award to honor a NASJE member who has made a significant contribution to both NASJE and judicial branch education nationally. It is my great pleasure to announce this year’s Karen Thorson Award winner, also from California – Michael Roosevelt.
As technology plays an increasingly significant role in our society, it has become commonplace in the courtroom. New technological practices and discoveries bring forensic science topics such as DNA, latent print examinations, and digital evidence to the forefront of our court system. With technology playing a greater and greater role in resolving cases, it became obvious to Arizona judicial educators that many judges lack the educational background needed for a sufficient understanding of the scientific principles behind the forensic evidence they see in court.
It is my pleasure to wish you a “Happy Spring” and to update you on all of the amazing work that is underway, through our committees and through our outreach and collaboration with our justice system partners.
In State Court systems around the country there are many positions that have a definitive career ladder but there are many that don’t. The Utah State courts Education Department has launched academies to help a wide range of employees prepare for advancement. Two academies were designed to prepare non-supervisory and middle-management employees for future higher level management and leadership opportunities. Even in their infancy, these academies have measurably enhanced the academy graduates’ management and leadership skills.
Visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Diverger, Converger, Assimilator, Accommodator. Which learning style best describes you? How do you know? As an educator, were you taught to adapt your teaching to the learning styles of your audience? Have you actually done so? Do you know if it was effective? Recent research purports to debunk the “myth” of learning styles. Researchers claim that the learning style-teaching style link is unproven and that instruments to measure learning styles are inaccurate. In this session, we’ll review the social science research about learning styles and discuss what we as educators should rethink — if anything — because of it.
Vicarious trauma. Compassion fatigue. Second-hand shock. Burnout. The populations that judicial educators serve are at great risk for these overwhelming professional challenges. How could and should our programming combat the effects of working with and around traumatic events? Join NASJE’s latest Article Club Callinar, where you will have the opportunity to discuss the article about vicarious trauma experienced by court employees. We have also two self-care inventories examples that you can take prior to the callinar or whenever you like.
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.
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 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.
NASJE’s list serve is an easy way to get your question out to the judicial education community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.