What is the Judicial Fellowship Program?

Judicial Fellows work in courts across California, gaining direct experience in the management of a complex and changing court environment. Courts do much more than adjudicate cases. In the service of promoting access to justice for everyone, Judicial Fellows are exposed to the management and/or development of a variety of court programs and departments, multi-million dollar budgets, policy, and other managerial tasks. The special challenge of court administration is to manage these functions in ways that preserve judicial independence and ensure the efficient and fair administration of the law.

Judicial Fellows are enrolled as graduate students at Sacramento State in Public Policy and Administration. Fellows participate in an academic seminar and field seminar once a month throughout the duration of the program. Field seminar is run in conjunction with academic seminar and takes place at a different court each month. During field seminars fellows have the opportunity to learn about different court programs, observe courthouse operations and speak with experts in the court system throughout the state.

Academic seminar: The fall semester focuses on a critical examination and historical analysis of the California judicial system and its administrative structures, policies and managerial practices. Spring semester includes the study of contemporary institutional issues, intergovernmental relations, alternative administrative practices, policy analysis and implementation strategies. A capstone project addressing some aspect of a fellow’s court placement will be completed; synthesizing their experiential learning and academic study.

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