Life as a Judicial Fellow: Alameda Field Seminar

JAF Class of 2016-17

Eager to continue their professional trek into the world of Judicial Administration, the fellows gathered for seminar in Alameda County last week.  During the field seminar fellows had the opportunity to meet with Presiding Judge Morris Jacobson, observe jury selection for a murder trial, and meet with Court Executive Officer Chad Finke.  Both Judge Jacobson and Mr. Finke spent time outlining for the group the recent operational changes the court had made, specifically consolidating Self Help Centers from around the county into one location at the Hayward courthouse, and the impact those changes had on the county community.  These discussions were relevant, interesting and helpful as fellows gain more familiarity with court operations and court management styles and strategies.

Fellows continue their hard work in academic seminar; participating in weekly online discussion forums and finalizing their capstone project topics.  The capstone project is a year long endeavor and a cornerstone of the Fellowship.  This year capstone project topics are very diverse and cover such areas as developing social media policy and program development within collaborative courts.

Judicial Administration Fellowship applications are now available!  Apply by February 13th! 



Judicial Fellow Alum: Where are they now?

Emily Chirk, 2013-14 Judicial Fellow

Emily Chirk became a Judicial Administration Fellow shortly after graduating from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. Her interests in the courts began with her time in JusticeCorps. She decided to pursue a career in judicial administration based on her experiences during her fellowship placement at the Superior Court of California, San Francisco. As a fellow, Emily was involved in developing programs for juveniles involved in the criminal justice system, remodeling court facilities to increase access to the court for non-English speakers, and was the lead author of a research study examining landlord-tenant cases. Emily is now a Court Administrative Analyst for the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino where she is the primary data researcher, assists in overseeing the Treatment Courts, conducts program and case flow studies, and is a part of the core team overseeing the court’s transition to a new case management system.

The fellowship exposed me to a side of the courts that I never knew existed and became a critical turning point in my decisions about my career path. The fellowship allowed me to become involved in innovative programs that were targeted at helping members of the public instead of rotating them through a never ending cycle. I was trusted with conducting quantitative and qualitative research that would influence policy decisions made by court executives as well as the city leadership. Most importantly, the fellowship developed and honed skills that I still use in my current work. The mentorship I received during the program was critical in my professional development and helped create a network of like-minded professionals that I remain in contact with to this day.