How to be a federal judge

June 2, 2011
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Some people learn by just jumping in and doing; others prefer to do their homework to prepare for a new experience. For these people, if becoming a federal judge is on your career aspirations list, then take a look at “Path to the Federal Bench.”

It’s been created by several legal groups, including the American Constitution Society, National Association of Women Judges, and the National Bar Association, with the goal of educating young attorneys and law students on the Article III federal judgeship process and diversifying the bench. They want students and new attorneys to be thinking ahead and begin preparing themselves to become a federal judge if that’s something they think they’d like to do in the future.

The 34-page guide gives insight on everything from how to become nominated to the Senate vote. It advises young lawyers to keep tabs on everything they’ve ever written that’s been published and warns them that the background checks will likely find anything they are trying to hide, so make sure to pay your taxes and don’t be a criminal.

The pamphlet, as it’s described by the authors, emphasizes that there is no one way to become a federal judge and provides biographies of recent federal judges to support that point. It also lists resources for those interested in learning more about becoming a federal judge.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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