Mason Judicial Education Program


As interpreters of law, America’s federal and state judges exert a significant impact on the evolution of economic and social policy. However, while judges typically reach the bench with a sophisticated understanding of the law, they often have little familiarity with economics and struggle to identify tradeoffs and unintended consequences created by particular legal decisions or public policies. A basic knowledge of economics principles, however, can help judges better understand the long-term implications of their decisions, thereby improving the development of the law and benefitting America’s free enterprise system.

For over four decades, the LEC’s Judicial Education Program has helped train the nation’s judges and justices in basic economics, accounting, statistics, regulatory analysis, and other related disciplines. The Program offers intellectually rigorous, balanced, and timely education programs to the nation’s judges and justices in the belief that the fundamental principles of a free and just society depend on a knowledgable and well educated judiciary. To date, over 5,000 federal and state judges from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including three current U.S. Supreme Court Justices, have participated in at least one of the LEC’s judicial education programs. As one JEP participant has put it: the courses have “made us better at our work and improved the administration of justice.”

JEP offerings include:

      • Introductory Economics Institute for Judges: The Introductory Economics Institute for Judges is the Judicial Education Program’s flagship course offering. Over a full week of intensive classroom lectures and discussions, judges are given a solid grounding in economics, finance, statistics, and the scientific method. The practical relevance of these disciplines is emphasized through the analysis of legal cases. The judges leave equipped with a basic understanding of the economics principles that will aid them in the performance of their jobs and enhance the judicial system.

      • Advanced Economics Institute for Judges: The Advanced Economics Institute for Judges builds on the legal and economics analysis skills taught in the Introductory Institute and applies them to new topics, including financial economics, accounting, labor law, environmental protection, consumer credit, and the economics of regulation.

      • Judicial Symposia: Judicial symposia and conferences provide a deeper, more focused analysis of current legal and public policy issues in a dynamic format that combines lectures and debates over periods as short as two days to as long as a week. Leading attorneys, economists, and other legal and public policy experts provide a basic grounding in the fundamentals of pressing legal issues and debate them from opposing viewpoints. Programs on topics such as civil justice issues, public pensions, and complex business litigation have been featured in the past.

For questions, please contact:
Rachel Trello, Program Assistant, Judicial Education Program | 703.993.8008