Special Considerations for the Rural Court Judge: Web-Based





Course Location


Course Fees




September 27, 2021 to November 12, 2021

This course has been postponed until 2022

Online: Faculty-led -- Isolation, under-funding, lack of collateral social services in the community, and a high public profile. Do these things sound familiar? Judges in rural courts throughout our nation share a unique circumstance marked by these issues. This faculty-led online course shares techniques and experience from rural judges in meeting these challenges, and provides tools and suggestions to the participants which can be adapted in their courts as circumstances warrant.

1 credit

towards degree programs


Course $689

What will I learn?

During this course, you will learn to:

  • Identify areas of professional and personal isolation resulting from your service on a rural bench.
  • Analyze your role as judge on the Adjudicator and Agent-of-Change Continuum.
  • Identify and analyze provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct addressing issues of particular challenge to the well-known rural judge.
  • Identify the ethics pitfalls in dealing with disruptive defendants and litigants.
  • Analyze how the rural judge can remain involved in his or her community within the context of proper judicial conduct.
  • Identify ethical issues posed by the dual roles of judge and lawyer and to comply with the ethical rules applicable to those issues.
  • Recognize the threats to judicial independence resulting from recent efforts to inject politics and social or economic agendas into court decisions.
  • Identify the purpose and limits of the inherent power of the court and how to effectively deal with other branches of government.
  • Create a plan to deal with threats and emergencies.
  • Describe the relationship of childhood trauma to delinquency.
  • Identify signs of traumatic stress in children by age group.
  • Recognize the phenomena of implicit bias.

Why should I take this course?
As a rural court judge, you need a course tailored to your more sparsely populated community and jurisdiction. This faculty-led online course offers a convenient way to learn skills particular to the special nature of judging within a rural area, without having to leave your docket.

Who should attend?
This course has been specifically designed for judges who preside over courts in rural areas and small, possibly isolated jurisdictions.

Who are the members of the faculty?
This course is taught by judges who preside over small and rural jurisdictions around the country, and understand the special issues confronting rural judges.

How is this course taught?
Discussion assignments, writing assignments, reading, video and weekly live calls with faculty ensure this course is highly interactive, demanding, and educational. It is anticipated that you will spend between three and four hours on lessons per week, with a total of six weeks of instruction (week four is a break week). On Thursday of each week of the course, the faculty will deliver a live hour-long web conference at 11 am Alaska / 12 pm Pacific / 1 pm Mountain / 2 pm Central / 3 pm Eastern.

What should I tell my presiding judge or funding agency so that my attendance will be approved?
Research shows that web courses are as effective as live courses, with less expense and greater convenience. This is an opportunity for the rural judge to gain a great amount of education without having to leave their docket or bench.

Whom should I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (800) 255-8343 or registrar@judges.org.

This course qualifies for The National Judicial College Certificate in Judicial Development program General Jurisdiction Trial Skills, Special Court Trial Skills and Tribal Judicial Skills disciplines.

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Download a PDF of our complete 2021 course catalog