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Judicial Division Grant-Funded Project

About the JOL Program

Funded by a grant with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The Judicial Outreach Liaison and Judicial Fellows program began in 1998 as part of the ABA Judicial Division’s outreach efforts to provide trial judges with access to current and evidence-based practices that would assist them in their work on the bench.  The program consists of two National Judicial Fellows and Regional and State Judicial Outreach Liaisons (JOLs) throughout the country.

While remaining independent and impartial, the JOLs and Judicial Fellows serve as resources for the judiciary and other members of the highway safety community.  This assistance takes the form of peer-to-peer judicial education, court case interpretations, guidance, and acting as a liaison between the judiciary and the highway safety community. The JOLs and Judicial Fellows help supplement and support on-going efforts by judicial educators around the country to provide essential information to judges in a number of important areas including evidence-based sentencing practices for at-risk populations, DUI Treatment Courts, and reliable substance use and mental health assessments.

The ABA Judicial Division selects active and retired judges from around the country to serve as Judicial Fellows and Judicial Outreach Liaisons in order to fulfill the established goals and objectives of the program.  The Judicial Fellows serve nationally and support the work of the Regional and State JOLs.  Regional JOLs serve in each of 10 Regions around the country and work with the State JOLs within their region.

Judicial Fellows and JOLs serve as teachers, writers, subject matter experts and spokespersons on issues relating to the handling of impaired driving cases and the application of evidence-based pretrial and sentencing practices. Their goal is to improve the administration of justice, and improve highway safety through education, collegiality, communication, and community outreach activities.

Through the work of the American Bar Association JOL and Fellows Program, judges throughout the country can gain a broader foundational understanding of the issues that they face in managing their fast-paced traffic-related dockets. 

The program is supported by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.