This week, the newest federal judges are in Texas for training on their new jobs, a workshop affectionately called “Baby Judges School,” the Associated Press reports. The training is the first to be held for judges appointed by President Trump, but there will be more. The new judges are learning everything from how to manage the hundreds of cases they’ll oversee to how to pick a jury, try civil and criminal cases, and take a guilty plea. And they’re attending sessions on ethics, on sentencing and on how to talk to victims, defendants and their families. “The goal of the baby judge program is to make sure that people have the fundamentals that they need to be able to do the job,” said Judge Jeremy Fogel of the Federal Judicial Center, the judicial branch’s research and education agency.
The training isn’t mandatory, but the vast majority of new, federal trial-level judges choose to attend, and some appeals court judges do, too. The Senate has confirmed 24 Trump nominees, and the president has 145 judicial vacancies to fill. For the first time a portion of the class will be dedicated exclusively to discussing workplace harassment. Last year, federal appeals court Judge Alex Kozinski retired after accusations of sexual misconduct, including that he had touched women inappropriately and asked law clerks to view pornography in his chambers. Judges will discuss that behavior, along with other scenarios such as whether it’s ever appropriate to tell a sexually explicit joke or ask a clerk to pick up dry cleaning. The judges will spend a half-day touring a federal prison. Previous groups have eaten a prison meal, and they always talk with prisoners about their experiences in the courtroom and as inmates.