For over 50 years, The National Judicial College has been meeting the ever-changing challenges of educating the nation’s judiciary and improving the administration of justice. As I lead the College into the next 50 years, we will continue to excel in delivering innovative judicial education for our nation’s judges.
The NJC and its dedicated staff, faculty, Trustees and Board of Visitors stand ready to meet those challenges with a steadfast commitment to education | innovation | advancing justice. Judges today face many challenges. They need to have more than just an understanding of law and evidence. For example, many judges today need advanced training on domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health, case management, working with self-represented litigants, alternative dispute resolution, problem solving courts, evidence-based sentencing, and, unfortunately, judicial security and safety.
Judges need excellent judicial education. Lectures or reading alone won’t satisfy the advanced education required to be a proficient judge in today’s fast-changing world. Skilled faculty, vibrant discussion groups and face-to-face classroom dialogs are essential. Exposing judges to trends and innovation from around the country and the opportunity to discuss issues with judges from other states is what makes The NJC Experience meaningful and long-lasting.
The challenges of providing excellent judicial education are even greater today because the state and local courts are often operating with reduced or flat budgets. There is more pressure than ever before to cut the budget for judicial education.
Despite the challenges of providing excellent judicial education, the NJC is committed to improving the judiciary and we collaborate with many outstanding entities to reach this goal. The future of justice requires that the courts provide the resources necessary for each judge to hone their skills and abilities. These skills enable judges to not only effectively preside in court, but assume responsibility for seeking change in the administration of justice.
We are committed to preparing the 21st century jurist to meet the challenges of today and the future. As the leading provider of judicial education and judicial improvement initiatives, we are committed to education | innovation | advancing justice.
We appreciate your ongoing support and engagement with The National Judicial College.
Chad C. Schmucker
President, The National Judicial College