A pair of judicial nominees’ experiences as federal public defenders played a starring role in the first Senate hearing for judges under the Biden administration.

U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the District of Columbia and Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, a partner with Zuckerman Spaeder, were both nominated by President Joe Biden last month for vacancies on federal appeals courts. Jackson-Akiwumi and Jackson during the hearing described how their time working as public defenders impacted their careers, and how they would set aside their personal views on the bench.