Admission - ICM Fellows Program



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Individuals who wish to become an ICM Fellow must complete an admissions process.  The application deadline for admission to the Class of 2018, which will begin its work in January of 2017 with the Distance Learning Phase, is September 30, 2016.  Applications may be submitted electronically.  Admissions materials are reviewed by a screening committee, with formal invitations extended to the selected candidates. Questions about the program or the admissions process may be addressed to Amy McDowell


Click here for ICM Fellows Program Application


Admission Process Requirements:

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • A completed ICM Fellows Program application form
  • A one-page cover letter explaining why the applicant wishes to pursue an ICM Fellowship, as well as his or her current duties, responsibilities, and career goals
  • A résumé (two-page maximum) that demonstrates work experience and academic achievement
  • One letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor or presiding judge that clearly indicates the applicant’s ability to commit to the time and cost of the ICM Fellows Program
  • A writing sample of no more than 2,000 words on a public policy question selected by the Dean. The essay may follow any standard style format but should be typed and double-spaced.

Applicants for the Class of 2018 should review the following statement and respond to the question posed below: 

In 1800, John Jay turned down a second appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court because he thought it was part of a judicial system that did not have “the public confidence and respect which, as the last resort of the justice of the nation, it should . . . .”  It seems that public trust and confidence in the judiciary has been a challenge ever since.  In a 1999 national survey, only 23.2% of the respondents had a “great deal” of trust and confidence in “the courts in your community.”  That ranked them sixth out of eight institutions measured, only higher than state legislatures and the media.  More recently, a 2014 National Center for State Courts survey of registered voters produced more encouraging results among the overall population, but left us with a curious caveat: “But those who have dealt directly with the courts also give them lower marks across the board on job performance and attributes.  On the fundamental duties of the courts (respectful treatment, protecting rights, listening, considering the needs of people, checking other branches and unbiased decisions) those with direct experience in the court system rated the courts in their state 8-13 points lower on every one of these measures.  This data underscores the continuing customer service challenges the courts face.”

Essay Question:  Based on your experience, what do you suppose causes such perceptions?  Identify the important “challenges” they present and discuss how courts should address them. 

Applicants interested in pursuing the ICM Fellows certification may submit completed applications to the ICM Fellows Program by providing the above materials via mail or email to:


Amy McDowell
Education Program Manager
National Center for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185