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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
Judicial Education in Texas works differently than in many other states. Instead of judicial education being a function of the Office of Court Administration as it is elsewhere, judicial education is provided through multiple entities each providing training for a different segment of the judiciary. This judicial education is financed by a grant from the Court of Criminal Appeals out of funds appropriated by the Legislature to the Judicial and Court Personnel Training Fund. In Texas, judicial education is administered by the Court of Criminal Appeals, through grants from the Court to Judicial Education entities, such as the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center.
Ryan Kellus Turner, General Counsel & Director of Education, Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, was recently honored with the 2016 Outstanding Government Lawyer award from the Government Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The award was presented at the State Bar’s Advanced Government Law seminar in Austin on July 28, 2016.
It is difficult to discuss prison conditions with just about anyone. Some are convinced that crime deserves prison, the more time the better. Others are appalled by statistics that reveal the huge number of prisoners in America. Politicians talk about being tough on crime, parents talk about spending more on education instead of on prisons. Private prisons seem to be having a heyday. Recently, much has been made of the number of minorities in American prisons, and the long sentences they serve compared to Whites. As court personnel, exposed daily to crimes against society, it is easy to become jaded about prison and prisoners.