A National Partnership Working for Fair and Impartial Courts
Contact Us Home July 22, 2018
"The improper appearance created by money in judicial elections is one of the most important issues facing our judicial system today."
Theodore B. Olson, former U.S. Solicitor General and attorney in Caperton v. Massey case

Diversity in the Courts

In order to function effectively, every American must have the utmost confidence in their courts. However, a judiciary that does not reflect the population it serves undermines that confidence in creating a perceived or actual bias in judicial decision making. An ideal bench is representative of the larger community, including women, persons of color, members of the LGBT community, persons with disabilities and other underrepresented groups.

Justice at Stake believes that diversity in the legal system improves the quality of justice, while building confidence in all communities that American courts are fair and impartial. This page celebrates the achievements of those who played pioneering roles in American legal history. These individuals overcame enormous obstacles and paved the way for others to achieve careers in the legal world.

To learn more about these pioneers, click on the link below their picture.

Judge Constance Baker Motley         Judge Vaughn Walker                        Patsy Takemoto Mink                Oliver Hill


Attorney General Eric Holder             Justice Elena Kagan                Justice Thurgood Marshall            Justice Sonia Sotomayor


Justice Sandra Day O'Connor              William T. Coleman                    Judge Patricia Wald                 Judge Jane Bolin


Justice at Stake, in coordination with its partners, is taking concrete steps towards increasing diversity on the bench. JAS is engaged in important work advocating and improving judicial diversity. In January of 2013, JAS released a comprehensive guide to gaining a federal judgeship targeted at underrepresented populations. “The Path to the Federal Bench" was written to demystify the intricacies of pursuing a judgeship and provide a comprehensive account of the journey to the bench compiled in one, easy to use document.

JAS has also begun work in Washington as part of a pilot project to increase judicial diversity across the state. We prepared and sponsored a day of panels at the Washington Minority Bar Associations Collaboration Project (WAMBAC) Conference, on May 20, 2011. The panels highlighted important steps to a judgeship, culminating in thirteen judges, from all court levels, discussing their own unique paths to the bench. Watch the panel discussion.


The positions and policies of Justice at Stake publications and campaign partners are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of other campaign partners or board members.
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