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So you wanna be a D.C. judge? Well, get in line. According to a new report titled “How the District Gets Its Judges,” released late last month by the Council for Court Excellence, 45 to 75 people apply for each court vacancy and multiple attempts are not uncommon. On a positive note, there are plenty of opportunities to join. The court has averaged more than three vacancies a year for the past 11 years. So now you’re wondering, How do I increase my odds of being selected? Government experience helps, especially as a prosecutor or public defender. Twenty-six of the 33 D.C. Superior Court judges installed since 1994 came from the government, as compared with only seven from private practice. In addition, 61 percent of the new judges had their primary expertise in criminal law. June Kress, executive director of the council, says the report was not meant to reach conclusions about how judges are selected. Instead, she says, it was written as a primer on the unique D.C. system by which judges are nominated and confirmed by the president and Congress instead of by D.C. voters.
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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