Judicial Evaluations



CABL serves African-American lawyers, judges, law professors and law students throughout the State of California. One of CABL’s most important goals is increasing the number of African-American jurists in the state. Accordingly, the responsibility of evaluating applications for appointments to the bench is paramount within the organization. CABL’s Board of Directors has approved the confidential JNE process and encourages all interested in being evaluated for a judicial appointment to participate.

The candidate should first submit the following items to the President of CABL and the Chair(s) of the Judicial Evaluations Committee (JEC):

(1) A copy of the candidate’s completed California Judicial Appointment Application, including writing samples and all attachments and updates;

(2) A written explanation as to why the candidate is seeking the endorsement of CABL;

(3) Contact information for five (5) personal and five (5) professional references not included in the candidate’s Judicial Appointment Application. Provide the name, street address, telephone number and email address for each reference. Provide a pre-addressed, self-sticking mailing label for each reference for whom an email address is not provided.

(4) An executed release authorizing CABL to contact your references and for JEC Committee members to discuss pertinent information regarding the candidate.

To the extent possible, professional references should include attorney and/or judicial and professional colleagues who can attest to the candidate’s professional qualifications. Moreover, the candidate is encouraged to include personal references who are CABL and/or affiliate chapter members.

After sending the candidate an email acknowledging receipt of the application package, the JEC will review the package and contact the candidate to advise whether anything is missing or needs clarification. Additionally, the JEC will send a rating form to each reference provided by the candidate, plus five (5) or more others selected by the JEC. The JEC may solicit reference information from fifteen (15) or more individuals.

The JEC will contact the candidate to schedule an in-person or videoconference interview, during which the candidate will be asked questions concerning the candidate’s interest in applying for a judicial appointment, the information submitted by the candidate to CABL, the information submitted by the candidate’s references, and any other information pertinent to the candidate’s interest in being evaluated by CABL.

Following the interview, the JEC will recommend that the candidate receive a rating of “Exceptionally Well Qualified”, “Well Qualified”, “Qualified”, or “Not Qualified At This Time.”

Finally, with the President’s approval, the President will send a letter to the Governor’s Office which will include CABL’s rating of the candidate.

For more information, please contact CABL’s Judicial Evaluations Committee via email at CABLJEC2@gmail.com.


The California Association of Black Lawyers

Shanāe Buffington, President
Hon. Yvette D. Roland, Judicial Evaluations Committee Co-Chair
Linnea Willis Smith, Judicial Evaluations Committee Co-Chair