So You Want to Be a Judge...


Washington Lawyer's Legal Beat covered a panel, part of the 2015 District of Columbia Judicial and Bar Conference, aimed at giving an insider's view on how to be a judge. Panelists included. Panelists were Natalie O. Ludaway, D.C. Chief Deputy Attorney General and D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission (JNC) Commissioner; D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan, Chair of the court’s Committee on the Selection and Tenure of Magistrate Judges; JNC Chair Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia; Woody N. Peterson, senior counsel at Dickstein Shapiro LLP and a commissioner on the JNC; Christopher D. Kang, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President at the Office of White House Counsel. The moderator was Addy R. Schmitt, counsel at Miller & Chevalier Chartered. The panelists gave great information about the process of becoming a judge, but also on the qualifications, and what the selection committee looks for in candidates:

Critical too are three traits important in any lawyer, whether a law student just starting her career or a battle-tested attorney shifting from the bar to the bench: thoughtfulness, self-awareness and honesty.

The process of becoming a judge often feels mysterious, but in some key ways it's not that different from any other job interview process. Once you've demonstrated technical competence, you need to prove to the interviewer that you fully understand the position, have genuine interest in it, and can excel.