About the NJC
Since its founding more than 50 years ago, The National Judicial College has been the nation’s premier judicial education institution. The NJC pursues its mission of making the world a more just place by educating and inspiring its judiciary with the support of individuals and organizations dedicated to preserving and improving the rule of law. Its supporters include scores of active and retired judges and attorneys along with government agencies and private foundations. Teaching at the NJC is a high honor, and most NJC courses are taught by judges who volunteer their time. The same is true of the members of the NJC’s boards of trustees and visitors.
The first to offer programs to judges nationwide, the NJC continues to work with the judiciary to improve productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges to achieve judicial excellence.
The NJC’s state-of-the-art facility of approximately 90,000 square feet houses an auditorium, classrooms, newly updated model courtroom, computer lab, multimedia room, judge’s resource center, discussion areas, and administrative space. All classrooms are equipped with Smart Classroom technology that integrates computers, responder systems, audio/visual equipment, and sound systems that serve to enhance the classroom learning experience. The NJC’s five classrooms include:
- A tiered auditorium that seats approximately 150 students.
- Two tiered classrooms that seat 40 students each.
- A flat classroom that seats approximately 40 students.
- A flat classroom that seats approximately 25 students.
- A flat seminar room that seats approximately 15 students.
Classrooms 3 and 4 can be joined to form one classroom. All of the flat classrooms contain variable direct and indirect lighting and excellent presentation systems. The NJC has a computer laboratory with 28 Internet-connected computers. The NJC also features a model courtroom, complete with jury room, attorney conference rooms, an interpreter booth, a media room, and judicial chambers. A resource center provides an area for six discussion groups of 10-12 students each, and the NJC has a “judicial dining court” that will accommodate 110 participants. The National Judicial College is located on the beautiful campus of the University of Nevada directly adjacent to the Knowledge Center and Student Union.
In addition to judges from abroad who attend regular courses at the NJC, special courses for judges from across the world including South America, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa are presented at the College or overseas. Using instantaneous translation equipment, the courses emphasize core judicial skills, ethics, decision-making and the relationship of courts to communities. These courses have become an opportunity to not only examine our own justice system, but to strengthen those of other countries as well.
Focus on Tribal Justice
Since its inception, The National Judicial College has welcomed tribal judges and in June 2002, developed curricula aimed at the challenges facing tribal courts. This specialized focus is key to the hundreds of tribal jurists from across the nation who come to the NJC’s National Tribal Judicial Center (NTJC) each year. Often, the point of reference is different for tribal judiciaries with the process focusing on restorative justice as well as bringing the whole community back into balance and harmony using tribal customs and traditions.The NTJC staff and faculty are experts in the fields of tribal law and courts, and offer an in-depth understanding of the tools needed to achieve this balance and harmony.
Customized Programs and Technical Assistance
Working with our many organizational partners has made the NJC a renowned choice for providing customized programs and technical assistance to the judicial branch. The NJC offers a broad range of specialized, practical and advanced programs designed specifically for state, local, administrative law, military and Tribal justice systems, as well as for international countries seeking to enhance the rule of law. Many of the NJC’s advanced and specialized programs are offered at sites throughout the country and consist of conferences, workshops, needs assessments, and staff development programs focused on an organization’s specific issues.
Professional Certificate Program
The National Judicial College’s Professional Certificate program allows judges to specialize and excel in five different judicial areas. The curricula offered enable judges to analyze current issues, use progressive problem-solving skills, exchange ideas with other judges specific to their areas of interest, and obtain a wider spectrum of knowledge in their career fields. Many courses are eligible for dual credit and can also be applied toward the master’s and Ph.D. degree programs. The NJC’s Professional Certificate program represents a hallmark of professional achievement for judicial career enhancement. Each certificate program offers challenging, required courses and a wide selection of electives from which to choose.
- Administrative Law Adjudication Skills
- Dispute Resolution Skills
- General Jurisdiction Trial Skills
- Special Court Trial Skills
- Tribal Judicial Skills
Master’s and Ph.D. Degrees
Founded in 1986 by the University of Nevada, Reno, in collaboration with The National Judicial College and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the university was among the first institutions in the nation to offer judges the opportunity to advance their skills and knowledge through an advanced degree program. Today, the Master’s and Ph.D. of Judicial Studies programs draw state trial, administrative law, tribal and military judges from across the nation seeking a deeper understanding of their roles as judges and the American justice system. These degrees are fully accredited, graduate programs requiring admittance into the University of Nevada, Reno. The university’s educational philosophy embodies participative, collaborative and applied problem solving strategies that are facilitated by a professional faculty.
Master’s and Ph.D. Degrees:
- Master of Judicial Studies
- Master of Judicial Management
- Ph.D. of Judicial Studies
Academic Freedom Statement
Intellectual pluralism and academic freedom are central principles of American higher education as well as The National Judicial College offerings. Within the context of its mission (education | innovation | advancing justice), the NJC promotes the free exchange of ideas and encourages debate over legal, judicial and administration of justice issues. The NJC is committed to providing a learning environment characterized by openness of participant expression, tolerance for expression of differing views, and ability to speak confidentially with the highest degree of civility. Within the framework of learning objectives designed for each educational offering, the NJC’s staff and faculty embrace academic freedom as they develop balanced subject content and facilitated discussion.