Criteria for Judicial Ratings
Washington Women Lawyers uses the following criteria for rating
candidates for judicial office:
No Rating. A candidate shall be given no rating:
1. If insufficient information is available
for Committee evaluation at the time the candidate is being considered
for rating, or
2. If the candidate has not made timely
application for a rating, including timely submission of materials
requested by the Committee, or
3. If the candidate has served as a member
of the WWL Evaluation Committee or parallel chapter committee within one
year of application for rating.
Unqualified. A candidate shall be rated unqualified if:
1. Candidate is not a member in good
standing of the Washington State Bar or not a member in good standing of
any other state’s Bar Association to which he or she has been admitted,
2. Candidate is currently a member of the
judiciary and, during his or her current term of office, has been
reprimanded or disciplined by the State Judicial Conduct Commission, or
3. Candidate has failed to meet the
mandatory criteria for a Qualified rating.
Qualified. Candidate must possess the following attributes:
1. Candidate is a member in good standing
of the Washington State Bar and every Bar in which the candidate is an
2. Candidate has a reputation for
integrity, good character, courtesy, common sense, and respect for all
3. Candidate demonstrates respect for the
law, for the judicial process, and for the dignity of the court.
4. Candidate is fair and has a reputation
for fairness and freedom from bias against any group or class of
5. Candidate possesses the ability to make
difficult decisions under the stress.
6. Candidate has good legal ability and
good writing skills.
7. Candidate has the temperament and
courtroom practice appropriate to the judicial position for which the
candidate is being considered.
8. Candidate has the ability to communicate
clearly and effectively with attorneys, litigants, and other
participants in the courtroom.
9. Candidate has the ability to command
respect from the attorneys, litigants, and other participants in the
courtroom, and has the energy and capacity for hard work.
If the Candidate seeks a trial court
10. Candidate has the ability to manage
pretrial and trial proceedings. This includes the ability to weigh
conflicting testimony, to make factual determinations, to handle a wide
variety of issues and situations likely to be presented at court, and
the ability to handle the demands of trial and motions calendars.
Well Qualified. Candidate shall meet the criteria for “qualified” and
must have the following:
1. Candidate has demonstrated a commitment
to equal justice under the law and is sensitive to issues important to
women both within the profession and under the law. Such commitment and
sensitivity may be evidenced by the candidate’s courtroom practice,
personal and professional background, professional and community
activities including pro bono work, professional employment practices,
mentoring and other support of women in the profession, or advocacy of
legal issues important to women, including active participation in
efforts to protect the rights of minorities.
2. Candidate either has judicial experience
or experience as a neutral decision-maker or a demonstrated commitment
to serving in the role of neutral decision-maker.
Exceptionally Well Qualified. Candidate shall meet the criteria for
“qualified” and for “well qualified” and must have the following:
1. Excellent legal ability and writing
skills, which may be evidenced by excellent legal analysis and an
excellent ability to deal with legal problems, by proven legal
scholarship and writing, or by a reputation for excellence in legal work
2. Candidate has demonstrated exceptional
litigation, judicial or administrative experience. Candidate also has a
reputation for outstanding personal and professional integrity, personal
and professional independence, personal courage, and an excellent
ability to make difficult decisions in demanding situations.
3. Candidate has consistently demonstrated
commitment to equality and to access to justice.
Candidate shall have demonstrated some or
all of the following:
1. Significant public service.
2. Potential for leadership on the bench.
3. An interest in and commitment to
working with other judges and court administrators to improve the
administration of justice.