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1 Federal Judicial Center: Education and Research for the U.S. Federal Courts [i] (2005)

handle is hein.congcourts/fedrefc0001 and id is 1 raw text is: THE FEDERAL JUDICIAL CENTER
Education and Research for the U.S. Federal Courts
The Federal Judicial Center is the education and research center for the U.S. federal judiciary. The FJC is an independent
government agency within the federal judicial branch and receives its funding directly from Congress.

Congress created the Federal Judicial Center in 1967, a period in
U.S. judicial history marked by growing interest in the use of
quantitative research and continuing education to improve judicial
administration and the management of caseloads. Representatives
of the federal judiciary, including then-Chief Justice Earl Warren,
recognized the importance of research, planning, and education
for the long-term effectiveness of the courts and proposed that
Congress create an organization within the judicial branch with
responsibility for these tasks. The Administrative Office of the U.S.

Courts had been established in 1939 to oversee the administration
of the judicial branch budget, the collection of statistical data,
policy innovations, and legislative relations. Rather than assigning
responsibility for education to the Administrative Office, Congress
created the FJC as a distinct judicial agency, thereby separating the
research and education functions from policy-making responsi-
bilities and protecting funding of those functions from the
demands of everyday court business.


The FJC provides education and training for judges and employees
of the federal courts. The FJC also coordinates educational
programs for federal public defenders, who represent indigent
criminal defendants in federal court. (The U.S. Department of
Justice trains federal prosecutors.) The FJC research division
conducts empirical studies and exploratory research into different
aspects of judicial administration, including case management,
alternative dispute resolution, and proposed amendments to the
federal rules of procedure. These research activities often inform
the development of FJC educational programming.

In 1992, Congress amended the FJC-enabling legislation to
authorize the FJC to serve as a resource for foreign judiciaries. Its
International Judicial Relations Office provides information to
federal government agencies and other organizations working in
the field of international judicial development and also disseminates
information to the federal judiciary about practices and procedures
in other countries that may improve judicial administration in the
United States.
The FJC does not train state court judges and personnel or
provide services to them.


The FJC operates under the general direction of its Board, which
is chaired by the Chief Justice of the United States, with seven
federal judges elected to four-year terms by the Judicial Conf-
erence of the United States. The Director of the Administrative
Office of the U.S. Courts is an ex officio member of the FJC Board.
The Board establishes policy and consults on programs and
research projects; it is not involved in the FJC's day-to-day
The Board appoints the FJC Director and Deputy Director. The
director has traditionally been a U.S. federal judge who gives up
judicial duties while serving. There is no statutory term of office
for directors, although typically most directors serve for about four
The FJC has a staff of about 130, including attorneys, edu-
cational specialists, researchers with advanced degrees in law and
The FJC has an annual budget of approximately $21,000,000,
used for program costs (including participant travel, lodging, and
meals), distance-learning technologies, staff salaries, and other
operational needs. These funds are allocated (appropriated)

the social sciences, and professionals with expertise in media,
publications, and information technology. The Education Division
works in consultation with advisory committees of judges and
court staff
FJC Organizational Chart
Director & Deputy Director


I                  I
Research      Internationa jud icial
Division        Relations Office
Administration   Communications
Policy & Design

Federa judicial
History Office
Systems Innovation
& Development

directly to the FJC by Congress. Congress created a separate
Federal Judicial Center Foundation that decides whether to accept
private gifts offered to support the FJC's work. Foundation funds,
while important, are a small fraction of the FJC's overall spending.

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