Women’s bar associations know that it makes a difference to everyone in the justice system when women are well represented on the bench at every level. Developing a more diverse bench means encouraging girls to imagine themselves as judges, encouraging older students to prepare themselves for law study and assisting law students and new lawyers to launch careers that will ensure that they are prepared to be the best possible jurists. But simply having the desire and the preparation to be a judge is not enough. It is essential to find savvy mentors and reliable information about how to get appointed or elected. Women’s bar associations are well positioned to be of assistance at every step in the process. By organizing formal and informal programs and networks and by providing links to information from their websites and via social media, women’s bar associations can make a difference in developing a diverse judiciary.
The National Association of Women Judges’ Outreach Programs provide materials and ideas for programs to develop the pipeline of women for the judiciary.
California Women Lawyers received the NCWBA 2009 Outstanding Member Program Award for its long-standing program entitled “So You Want to be a Judge?” To download information about the program, click the link below.
For up-to-date information about appointment to the federal bench, the National Women’s Law Center is an essential resource.
The Infinity Project, which received the NCWBA’s 2010 Public Service Award, provides a model for active encouragement and information sharing on how to get more diversity on the bench in the Eighth Circuit.
Anyone who wishes to serve on the federal bench would do well to read The Path to the Federal Bench.
The Gavel Gap provides statistics on state court judges.
What services do women’s bar associations provide to their members who are interested in increasing diversity on the bench or who are themselves interested in becoming a judge? Here are some examples:
White House Judicial Vacancy Briefing, May 7, 2012 NCWBA President Pam Berman (right) and past NCWBA presidents Mary Sharp and Cezy Collins