Minnesota recognizes National Judicial Outreach Week

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Minnesota Judicial Branch

National Judicial Outreach Week began Sunday, March 1, and runs through Tuesday.

The Judicial Outreach Network Committee of the American Bar Association launched the first National Judicial Outreach Week in March of 2017. The purpose of the week is to encourage judges and lawyers to participate in direct outreach to the community in order to support a fair and impartial judiciary. The committee supports this effort by creating materials for judges and lawyers to use as a resource and by encouraging judges and lawyers to participate in public outreach.

The Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators recently passed resolutions in support of this effort.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to encouraging public trust and confidence through public outreach, a news release stated. In 2019, judges and court staff reported participating in more than 150 outreach events involving more than 10,000 students and adults. In recognition of National Judicial Outreach Week, the Minnesota Judicial Branch is highlighting some of the many events and activities of both judges and staff.

The Supreme Court travels to high schools in Minnesota twice a year to hear oral arguments in a real case, answer student questions and visit with students as part of the Traveling Oral Argument program In October 2019, the court celebrated the 50th in-school program at Fairmont Junior/Senior High School. Since the Supreme Court convened oral arguments in Rochester, in 1995, the school visits have been an important part of the Court’s efforts to improve public understanding of the judiciary’s work.


In 2019, the Court of Appeals formalized student group visits to oral arguments by establishing the Class in the Courtroom program. The program opens up the courtroom doors as an educational opportunity for teachers and students to observe oral arguments and meet with the judges at the Minnesota Judicial Center and in several locations throughout Minnesota.

The judges and staff of Minnesota’s district courts have long invited students and members of the public to visit local courthouses, and have gone out into their communities to visit schools, community groups and civic organizations as a way to enhance the public’s understanding, trust and confidence in the judiciary. Beginning in April 2015, district courts across Minnesota began hosting open courthouse events, centered on welcoming the public into courthouses to learn more about how judges, attorneys and law enforcement work together to peacefully resolve disputes and keep our communities safe. These events continue to occur twice a year in conjunction with Law Day in May and Constitution Day in September.

Many district courts have established annual events to honor Law Day, a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process have contributed to the freedoms that all Americans share.

The Minnesota Judicial Branch is made up of 10 judicial districts with 295 district court judgeships, 19 Court of Appeals judge, and seven Supreme Court justices. The Judicial Branch is governed by the Judicial Council, which is chaired by Lorie S. Gildea, Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Minnesota Judicial Branch is mandated by the Minnesota Constitution to resolve disputes promptly and without delay. In 2018, there were nearly 1.2 million cases filed in district courts in Minnesota. For more information visit .

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