National Judicial Outreach Week: March 1-10

Each year, NAPCO has supported the American Bar Association’s National Judicial Outreach Week (NJOW) that encourages judges – and court leaders – to dedicate time to foster a greater understanding in their communities about courts and their important function in our democratic system of justice.  The theme this year, as in the past, is the same: “Preserving the Rule of Law.”  National Judicial Outreach Week will occur March 1-10.  NAPCO has received permission from NJOW officials to access their presentation materials and databank to develop speeches and discussion ideas regardless of whether a judge or court executive is a member of the ABA.  Here is what the ABA says about getting actively engaged in the effort:

Each day, more than 30,000 judges throughout America ensure our nation continues to be ruled by laws and that everyone is equal before the law. Our courts must apply our laws fairly and impartially and not be influenced by popular, partisan, or special interests.  One of the most effective ways to promote community understanding and commitment to preserving the Rule of Law is for people to meet dedicated public servants – America’s judges and court leaders – to understand and appreciate their unwavering commitment to fairness, impartiality, and the Rule of Law.

The ABA Judicial Division’s Judicial Outreach Network Committee urges active and retired judges, as well as court leaders, to invite their communities to their courthouses or to reach out to them in forums outside the courthouse during National Judicial Outreach Week 2019.  It is contended that candid discussions and information about the Rule of Law and the work courts do every day to balance individual rights and government responsibilities will both strengthen public trust and confidence in the judiciary and place a “human face” on the workings of the law.   

The Judicial Outreach Network has prepared a National Judicial Outreach Week Information Packet that explains the how and why of Judicial Outreach Week.  The Judicial Outreach Network also developed a concise PowerPoint presentation entitled Preserving the Rule of Law (Judicial Version) and Speaker Notes that judges can use or adapt to their own style and preferences. The presentation has been carefully crafted to provide an understandable description of the Rule of Law and to foster discussion between speakers and audiences.  

Judges and court leaders are invited to refer to the NJOW template phone script and template letter as part of the Judicial Division’s NJOW toolkit resources to recruit additional judicial participants should they desire to do so. Also, court leaders may contact JON staff liaison Felice Schur at in Chicago for additional information and to apprise the ABA and JD about their presentations and progress in order to provide helpful insights and techniques to other judges and courts throughout the country.