Training Judicial Professionals
for the 21st Century

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District of Columbia Judicial College

Gavel, Judicial Education in Washington, DC

The D.C. Judicial College is designed as a model full-time, degree-granting, multidisciplinary state judicial program.  The College is established to identify highly qualified aspirants to the judicial profession, and to develop and fine-tune their exceptional "judicial skills." 

The DC Judicial College curriculum is of extended duration, interactive, personalized, and is effective in assessing, testing, measuring, and developing core and advanced judicial skills.  The DC Judicial College, while serving as a national model for a "state" judicial education, is designed to serve and to support all DC courts, those accessing them, and the administration of justice generally.

D.C. Judicial College Advances:

• Judicial Independence • Trade, Commerce, Economy
• Court Functioning • Interdisciplinary Research; PublicHealth
• Access to Courts • Educational/Learning Tools/Technologies
• Fairness, Efficiency of Courts • Quality/Reliability of Courts,Clerking, Judging
• Confidence in the Judiciary

How And Why We Are Different
Prior and existing judicial education programs in the U.S. were/are mostly seminars. A few states have long-standing judicial education programs, but unlike the DC Judicial College, they tend to consist of short seminars or conferences on legal or policy issues, are lecture-style, speaker or issue-centrict, without the benefit of skills-based admissions criteria, or measuring of "judicial skills," and the courses are generally too short in duration to be useful and effective for purposes of testing and developing those skills. Local state judicial training programs (UVA, GMU; ASTAR-MD) are increasingly comprehensive, e.g., incorporating the use of math, hard sciences, and social sciences as learning tools for development of core and advanced judicial skills.  These are part of national efforts to address the need for a separate and distinct educational program for the judicial profession. What was required, the need being well-recognized, is a judicial eduction of longer duration than anything currently existing in the U.S., with admissions standards and curricula designed to further prepare qualified applicants aspiring to serve in a judicial capacity.  To fulfil that requirement, the DC Judicial College was established as a model, full-time, multidisciplinary, state judicial college.
It is well recognized that judicial skills can be developed and improved, are generally much different from the skills needed for lawyering and advocacy.  There are great societal, economic, and intangible benefits to courts and those having a judicial role operating at the highest possible skill level. That is why a plan for accreditation of state judical curricula was developed here in the nation's capital, as a national model for an introductory state judicial education. Formal judicial education is piloted in Washington, D.C., the seat of the U.S. judiciary, to serve the District of Columbia initially, its courts, and those accessing them.  Courses include online training, and a variety of interesting classes, labs, and judicial situation simulations developed from actual causes of court error, including skills training/development in conflict analysis/resolution, problem-solving, fact finding, detecting/mitigating inefficiencies and case distortions. The DC Judicial College sets the standard for effective judicial education, and for court excellence locally, regionally and nationally.  See "Projects" and "Admissions Criteria."
Model Standard for Accreditation of Judicial Education
There is no prior formal judicial education in the U.S. for those aspiring to a judicial career, so standards of accreditation were required. The DC Judicial College strives to relentlessly improve upon the proposed standards of accreditation for state judicial curricula through continuing targeted research on rates and causes of court error, judicial skill identification/development, and the factors associated with judicial excellence. Emphasis is on admissions criteria and the quantity and quality of training needed to ensure consistently optimal, and the highest possible level of, judicial skill/performance among future judicial professionals. Emphasis is on enhancing judicial performance in trial courts, where most cases are adjudicated.  Skill/performance testing/training is informed by structured research on the causes and rates of "serious court error," as identified by appeal data, and features simulation-based learning guided by a model court error causal study.

Judicial Certificate & Degree Granting
The D.C. Judicial College is planned as a full-time (1-2 year) program, multidisciplinary, challenging, interesting, individualized, technology- employing, and effective. Unique in its approach, the D.C. Judicial College maintains admissions criteria based on "judicial skills" and, as recommended by The National Association State Judicial Educators, the D.C. Judicial College employs testing in connection with training, with results that can be measured. Judicial education is much different from legal education through which professional lawyer/advocates are trained.

The DC Judicial College includes a variety of accelerated, abbreviated courses that address causes of court error, and that test and develop core and advanced judicial skills.  The curriculum includes components in: linguistics, philosophy, sociology, decision sciences, hard sciences, math, statistics, engineering, medicine, neuro sciences, forensic sciences, accounting, computational/data sciences, psychology, anthropology, and more. Featuring science, engineering, and math courses, as well as an array of social sciences and working labs, the College seeks to identify, develop, and fine-tune skills in, e.g., logic, reasoning, active/objective inquiry, listening, fact-finding, data analysis, conflict analysis/resolution, influence/deception detection, bias recognition, and problem-solving.  The Judicial College is a national model for a state judicial degree granting program. 

The Judicial Degree Qualifies You to Serve as a:

• Judge (two year pgm.) • Medical Examiner (CME)* • Mediator • Arbitrator
• Attorney General
• Magistrate

• Medical degree prerequisite.

• Judicial Clerk

• Parole Officer

A court error causal study is being conducted state by state to analyze and study causes and rates of error in judicial proceedings. The results are used to inform and to develop the curriculum, and admissions criteria.  Causes of court error aid in developing the core curriculum, in addition to realistic and effective judicial testing/training simulations.  Rates, causes, and types of judicial error, researched in association with judical characteristics, are aiding in development of judicial skill-based, world-class admissions criteria for a model state judicial college.
Active judges may qualify for tuition waiver on a segment by segment basis.
Contact us to learn more about our judicial education courses.