On Jan. 13, our Judiciary Committee hosted Bootcamp: Road to the Bench, Part 2 – The Written Application at Seyfarth Shaw. 

This workshop provided hands-on advice on how to present yourself and your accomplishments most successfully. Examples of judicial application forms were provided in advance for participants to ask the in-depth questions about the common mistakes and how to avoid them:

  • How do you choose your best cases, references, and attributes? 
  • How do you write the essay or cover letter? 
  • How do you handle shortcomings?
  • How do selection panels view references and who you should choose?

The speakers for the evening included:

Hon. Elizabeth Stong
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of NY

Hon. Barry Cozier
Vice Chair, Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary
Senior Counsel, LeClairRyan

Robert Begleiter
Chair, EDNY Magistrate Judge Selection Panel
Partner, Constantine Cannon

They were moderated by the Honorable Lillian Wan of Kings County Family Court.

The resounding take-away from the panel: The judicial process starts well before the written application. A good, highly qualified judicial candidate is a person who has thoughtfully considered their experience and how it would affect their performance as a judge. A good applicant prepares their references and has been respectful to not only their friends, but also their adversaries. The hardest part of the process, according to Judge Stong, is looking in the mirror and asking whether or not you might be staring back at a judge one day.

Thank you to the panelists for sharing their expertise, James Yu of Seyfarth Shaw for hosting, and the organizers from our Judiciary Committee – Linda Lin, Robert Leung, and David Mou. Thank you to our co-sponsoring organizations: Hispanic National Bar Association (NY Region), Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, and South Asian American Bar Association of New York.