Judicial College Marks Milestone

Scales of Justice
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For four decades, Reno has been the premier training place for the nation's judges. Tonight the National Judicial College at UNR celebrates its 40th anniversary.

The school educates 2,700 judges every year and has been recognized worldwide.

Inside, the classroom looks like most college classrooms . . . but here, the students already have law degrees, and they're already practicing judges.

They come from all over the nation, and as far away as Uganda, Saipan and Tajikistan. And they are all here to learn how to better administer justice in their courtroom.

"They learn how to preside, what is due process. They learn how to handle an expert witness on DNA to a person who wants to represent themselves," says NNJC PResident Bill Dressel.

At a dinner to honor the college's 40-year milestone, former governor and US Senator Richard Bryan praised the school for improving the justice system.

"In our system, we invest authority in judges," he says. "They're capable of depriving us of our lives, our property. So it's important that justice be informed and educated and the NJC does just that"

The College was also honored today with a Silver Star Award by the Truckee Meadows Tomorrow Committee for improving the quality of life here. Eevery year, the college brings in more than $30 million to the local economy.

Governor Kenny Guinn also proclaimed today National Judicial College Day. "There's always something on the cutting edge and this program sets the tone for the rest of the country. "

Over the past 40 years, the school has awarded more than 65,000 certificates to judges from 52 countries. Administrators say as the law continues to change and grow, the College will too.

Proceeds from tonight's celebration will benefit the NJC Scholarship Fund.

The college is one of only 2 nationwide that offers judicial degree programs.