Q&A with Judge Jeremy Fogel, Member of IAALS' Executive Committee

February 9, 2023

Editor's Note: Judge Jeremy Fogel, executive director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute, is a member of IAALS' board of advisors and executive committee. Trusted partners are key to IAALS' process, and we're excited to showcase their passion and expertise. In this Q&A, Judge Fogel discusses access to justice, IAALS' key strengths, and the traits he admires in others.

"group of people shaking hands"Why is the work of IAALS important?

Our justice system has admirable strengths, but it also falls short in understanding and meeting the needs of many members of our society. IAALS plays a crucial role in studying these areas of weakness and proposing practical and achievable means of addressing them.  
What do you see as IAALS’ key strengths? What does IAALS do uniquely well?

IAALS does objective, non-ideological, and non-partisan research of high quality. It has credibility with thought leaders from across the philosophical spectrum and across court users, lawyers, and judges. It has a proven record of convening diverse groups of people to think about important areas of need and producing synergies through those convenings.
What does access to justice mean to you? 

Part of the meaning of access to justice simply is that meaningful participation in dispute resolution processes should be affordable and widely available. But at a deeper level, it means that our justice system itself needs to account for the fact that many of the disputes in which people are involved reflect concerns and life problems beyond the formal confines of legal doctrines. Lawyers, judges, court staff, and others who interact with court users can do so much more effectively if they have an interdisciplinary perspective and well-developed people skills, especially the ability to listen well.

What is a trait you admire in others? 

Emotional intelligence, mindful presence, kindness.
What is the last book you read? 

The City and the City by China Miéville.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?

A sense of connection to the world and people around me.