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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jan. 25, 202205:00 AM EST

‘Pathways to the Bench’ offers strategic insight on getting there

Attorneys and judges will meet to learn how to trade a briefcase for a robe and gavel.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Strategies to transition from attorney to judge and what it is like to wear the robe and wield the gavel are the subjects of “Pathways to the Bench” on Feb.1 at the Jessie Ball duPont Center.

The event is presented by the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association and the Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section.

Panelists for the discussion are U.S. District Judge Brian Davis, 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Harvey Jay, 4th Circuit Judge Katie Dearing and Patrick Kilbane, attorney and past chair of the 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission.

Davis and Harvey were appointed to the bench, Dearing was elected and Kilbane will provide insight about how applying for appointment to a judicial vacancy works, said Kayla Haines Herrin, JWLA president-elect and a YLS Executive Committee member.

“Both organizations promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and on the bench. We want to represent each of the ways you can become a judge and provide judges to our members so they can answer questions about what it’s like to be a judge,” Herrin said.

More judges are appointed than elected, so Kilbane will explain how the process works when an attorney applies for possible appointment to a vacancy on the bench on the Duval County Court or the 4th Circuit Court in Clay, Duval or Nassau counties.

“A lot of our members don’t have the inside knowledge about what the JNC is looking for when they have to nominate candidates to the governor,” Herrin said.

The program begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the panel at 6:30 p.m.

“We are having the happy hour to give the judges and our members a chance to mingle,” Herrin said.

JWLA and JBA members may register at

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