New Judges Learn How to Lead Their Communities
By Csaba Sukosd | May 16, 2023
New Ohio judges learned about the responsibilities and challenges that come with serving their community at the Supreme Court of Ohio's New Judge Orientation.
The four-day course provided 64 attorneys with information and tools for transitioning from being lawyers to judges.
"The perception of what being on the bench is and what it actually is are two different things," said Fayette County Juvenile Judge Mary King.
Judge King is referring to the procedural and administrative responsibilities that come with being a judicial officer. For most of the judges, the spring orientation is the second of two events new judges attend as part of their mandatory judicial education. Judge King is one of eight attorneys in the group who were recently appointed to judgeships.
"These past couple months have been a whirlwind," said Judge King who assumed office on March 27 after 17 years in private practice.
The orientation allows her and other participants to talk with seasoned judges and peers about ethical, procedural, and administrative responsibilities. Above all, there's the human component of understanding how much their actions and decisions can impact the lives of others.
"You feel the weight, the literal weight of the robe and the weight of the decisions that you make," said Judge King.
Attendees learned how to access the Supreme Court's network of services, resources, and information, including case management and human resources. The education provided by the Judicial College is the beginning of hundreds of hours of content produced every year to inform and update judges.
"It gives you that background so when you know that something doesn't seem right with a case, you should research it to figure out a solution," said Judge King.
She enjoyed the opportunity to meet others dedicated to public service, especially the other juvenile judges tasked with providing the best outcomes for children. The in-person interactions allowed her to learn more about the judicial process and how other judges are working to improve the experience for families who need help with legal issues. Those improvements include ways to resolve cases quicker and making sure every person involved in a case is treated fairly.
"If people have a judge who listens, takes their time, and is trying to hear what's going on and hear their story, they'll have more faith in the judiciary," said Judge King.