Soifer Named to Mass. Task Force on
Judicial Education

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has appointed Law School Dean Aviam Soifer as vice chairman of its new Task Force on Judicial Education, which will consider an increased role for continuing education in the state's judicial system.

The 26-member group, chaired by Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Charles Fried, will examine current initiatives in judicial education and propose improvements in orientation and skills training. The two-year study will focus on how such education can maintain and enhance professional conduct, commitment to public service and professional excellence for both judges and court personnel, said Soifer.

Task force members also will discuss major philosophical and ethical issues of concern to the profession, Soifer added, such as how to interpret the law so justice is better served and the best means by which judges can attain impartiality. They will submit their findings to the Supreme Judicial Court in June 1998.

"As a well-respected academician with a deep interest in and commitment to improving the Massachusetts court system, Dean Aviam Soifer brings to the Supreme Judicial Court's Task Force on Judicial Education exceptional qualifications for the vice chairmanship," said Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Paul Liacos. "In addition, he is a renowned scholar in constitutional law and a superb educator."

"This is a great opportunity to expand upon our commitment to judicial education in Massachusetts," Soifer said. "In particular, the task force's work will help to implement life-long learning concepts, a process we have already undertaken and value highly at the Law School. It is clear the SJC places a high priority on the role of education and this will greatly influence present members of the legal profession and the law students who will someday be part of it."

The task force, which began meeting this summer, consists of judges from each of the Massachusetts trial court departments, clerks, probation officers, law school deans and professors, a union leader and court administrator, and other experts in judicial education. Massachusetts Superior Court Associate Justice Paul Chernoff, a part-time faculty member at the Law School, also is a member of the group.

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