The ABA Judicial Division Turns 100: The Rise of Judicial Education

Vol. 53 No. 2

Peter M. Koelling is the director and chief counsel of the ABA Judicial Division. Koelling was a law clerk for the Texas Supreme Court, was in private practice, and has worked in court administration in Texas, Washington, and Colorado. He also holds a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University.


In the 1960s, the Judicial Administration Division (JAD) hired a director by the name of Ernie Friesen. Ernie was in many ways the godfather of the court management movement. He, along with Ed Gallas and Nesta Gallas, wrote the first book on the subject of court management in 1971. He also later became the director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. As a young professor, Ernie studied how judges used pretrial conferences to manage their cases. He was interested in how some judges had more timely dockets than others. He found that those courts that effectively used the pretrial conference to set schedules and focus the issues did a better job of moving cases. That is what sparked his interest in judicial administration and why he became director of the JAD.

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