Capital Fellows Programs Applications Open for the Class of 2018-19!


Questions about the Judicial Fellowship Program?  

Contact Megan Thorall, Program Director at 916-278-7563 or .


Judicial Fellow Alum: Where are they now?


Shelby King, Judicial Fellow, 2013-14

Shelby King was a member of the 2013-14 Judicial Fellowship class. She was placed at the Butte Superior Court. Prior to the fellowship, Shelby graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in Public Policy Economics and minors in Politics and Philosophy. She is currently studying for her Law Degree and Master of Public Policy at UCLA. Shelby is interested in criminal justice reform, especially from the perspective of state courts. She has been researching and advocating for bail reform in California for the past year.


The Judicial Fellowship was a life-changer. I was initially attracted to the fellowship so that I could learn more about the judicial system. I hoped that it would help me to be a more effective attorney. Through the fellowship, I had open access to learn about everything in which I was interested and ask all my questions. I learned the most, though, from working at the Butte Superior Court. Working in the system you are studying is an incredibly valuable experience, especially when supplemented with graduate courses that explain exactly what you’re experiencing at your placement. Through exploring all facets of the judicial system, including courts across California, the Judicial Council, jails, prisons, county administration, and more, I learned about how complex the criminal justice and court systems are. By opening my eyes to the complexity of these systems, the fellowship changed my career goals and influenced my decision to focus on policy and administration within the criminal justice and court systems.

Beyond the learning experience, the Capital Fellows Program also provides access to a network of passionate professionals. I keep in contact with many of the fellows from my year, not just in the Judicial Fellowship Program, but in the other fellowship programs as well. I continue to bump into fellows at school, conferences, networking events, and more. Everyone in the network is always extremely helpful and supportive.

Profile in Leadership: Lisa Cardoza

A key component of the Center’s mission is the goal of fostering in California’s future leaders a dedication to public service and a commitment to the values of a representative democracy. The opportunity to connect to and learn from established leaders in our community is just one of the ways the Center seeks to […]

via Profile in Leadership: Lisa Cardoza — Californiana Newsletter

Best of luck class of 2016-17!

JAF_Blog1617 end of year

What a wonderful fellowship year it has been!  Recently the fellows had the privilege of meeting with Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye in Sacramento and were presented their program certificates as part of our end of year festivities.  During the meeting with the Chief Justice, Fellows shared their experiences and reflected on the wide range of professional opportunities they had in placement.  It was clear that each fellows journey was unique. The professional and personal growth experienced had an incredible impact on them as individuals.  Their work in the superior courts and Judicial Council offices exposed them to the great depth and breadth of the Judicial branch and California’s state government, reinforcing their commitment to public service.

Best wishes to the class of 2016-17 as they embark on their next journey!


Life as a Judicial Fellow: Tips from the top

Spring this year has brought a mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar. In the latter category is record rainfall, which has rescued California from a 5-year-long drought. In the former category is pollen, which results in an ongoing chorus of sneezes among the staff here at the Center for California Studies., situated in Tahoe […]

via Spring 2017 Executive Director Message — Californiana Newsletter

Life as a Judicial Fellow: Spring has sprung!

Judicial Fellows are in the process of wrapping up their Capstone Projects and preparing for the final two field seminars of the year.  Time flies when you are having fun!

Fellows have had the opportunity to dig into a number of exciting projects, activities, and field seminars as of late.  The highlight of 2017 so far has been attending the Civic Learning Summit at the California Secretary of State’s Office and having the opportunity to hear Justice Kennedy from the United States Supreme Court speak.  Click through the slideshow below for a more in-depth look at the spring semester experience.

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Life as a Judicial Fellow: photos of the 2016-17 class in action

Judicial Fellows at the State Capitol

The Judicial Administration Fellowship Program is one of FOUR Capital Fellows Programs run by the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State.  In addition to working full time in the Judicial Branch and participating in a graduate seminar in Public Policy and Administration, Judicial Fellows also have fun, explore all aspects of state government, interact with the other three fellowship programs, and build lifelong friendships and professional connections.

The class of 2016-17 is going full speed into the second half of the fellowship.  Fellows continue tackling major projects in placement such as researching and/or participating in the program development of different collaborative courts such as Veteran’s Treatment Court, DUI Court and Reentry Court, researching individual court policies and procedures, continued planning for Law Day events and other access to justice initiatives.

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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.

Capital Fellows: Better Together

Judicial Fellows arrived back in Sacramento this week to participate in a field seminar on the Federal Courts, All Fellows Day and the second academic seminar of the year.

All Fellows Day is a particularly dynamic event that brings together all four Capital Fellows Programs under one roof to engage in leadership training, professional development and team building exercises.  Takeaways from the training included improved communication skills, an increased ability to take risks within the group setting, and learning how to “break down silo’s” and increase connectivity, productivity, and engagement within a group setting.  Fellows also had the special opportunity to hear from State Librarian Greg Lucas who engaged the group in a lively discussion about California and its rich history.

Applications for the class of 2017-18 are now open.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become a part of an amazing program!  Apply now!  

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