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Prospective Fellows


The ICM Fellows Program welcomes applicants that have achieved either the Certified Court Manager or the Certified Court Executive credential.  Applications for the Fellows class beginning in 2022 will be accepted on a rolling basis through September 30, 2021.  Applications may be submitted electronically to

Admissions materials are reviewed by a screening committee, with formal invitations extended to the selected candidates.  Questions about the program or the admissions process should be addressed to ICM Fellows.

Required Application Materials

Click here for the ICM Fellows Program application.

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • A completed ICM Fellows Program application form
  • A one-page cover letter that explains why the applicant wishes to pursue an ICM Fellowship and that describes current job 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
  • An original writing sample of no more than 2,000 words in response to a public policy question. The essay may follow any standard style format but should be double-spaced.
Public Policy Essay

Applicants for the Fellows class that will begin in 2021 should review the following statement and respond to the public policy essay question posed below:

Janet G. Cornell (ICM Fellow ‘91) observes that: The coronavirus pandemic presents challenges for courts to manage operations and ensure ongoing access to justice while providing a profound opportunity for change. After the urgency settles, courts will be faced with taking the lessons learned and implementing lasting new ways of doing business in a way that measures successes and outcomes.” COVID-19 and the Courts: A Case Study of Contrasts, Reengineering and Observations, Trends 2020 Issue 3.  

Essay Question: Based on your experience as a court professional, what are some of the most important changes that you have observed and are hopeful will become lasting new ways of doing business in the courts?

Completed applications should be submitted to the ICM Fellows Program via mail or email to:

Amy McDowell
Director of Executive Leadership Education and Dean, ICM Fellows Program
National Center for State Courts
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185

(757) 259-1552

Step 1:

Becoming an ICM Fellow is a process of continual professional development that includes four steps. The first step requires a candidate to achieve the Certified Court Manager credential. Candidates may choose to apply to the ICM Fellows Program following completion of either the Certified Court Manager (CCM) or the Certified Court Executive (CCE) programs. ICM Fellows coursework will vary depending on which certification the candidate completes prior to undertaking ICM Fellows study. Participants can expect to complete a minimum of four semesters of coursework roughly equivalent to a Spring – Summer – Fall – Spring semester schedule, with commencement typically scheduled for the Spring semester of the graduating year.

Step 2:

The second step is to achieve the Certified Court Executive credential. There are two ways to satisfy this requirement. A candidate for the ICM Fellows Program may fulfill the CCE requirement by attending the ICM Fellows Program CCE Phase, typically offered as a residential program during the month of June in Williamsburg, Virginia.  For 2021 and 2022, the CCE Phase will be offered in a weekly virtual format. The CCE Phase is intended for those who desire a rich, immersive experience with classmates from diverse court environments and will be held during the Spring and Summer semesters.  All participants must complete the ICM Fellows Distance Learning Phase (held monthly in the Spring and Summer semesters). ICM Fellows candidates who complete the virtual CCE Phase will be awarded the Certified Court Executive credential. After achieving CCE certification, participants continue to the Court Project Phase, the third step of the ICM Fellows Program.

Alternatively, candidates may choose to achieve CCE status by attending each of the seven required courses. Those who earn the CCE credential through this method must also complete the ICM Fellows Distance Learning Phase (held monthly during the Spring and Summer semesters). Together, these phases prepare candidates to engage in the ICM Court Project Phase. Immediately following completion of this coursework, participants begin the Court Project Phase of the ICM Fellows Program.

Step 3:

The third step toward becoming an ICM Fellow is completion of the Court Project Phase, held during the Fall and Spring sessions. The Court Project Phase requires completion of a research-based court improvement project.  Participants must select, design, conduct data collection for and complete an independent research project as the basis for a written report that is submitted to the Dean of the ICM Fellows Program for approval. Candidates are assigned a Project Supervisor to oversee development and completion of the court project and to serve as a resource. Approved reports are equivalent in quality to a master's degree thesis and must include an abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, findings, conclusions and recommendations, appendices, and references.  Completed reports add to the growing court administration literature and are archived in the NCSC Library and eCollection.  Upon successful completion of the Court Project Phase, participants are eligible to attend the Presentation Phase and Master Class, the final step to become an ICM Fellow.

Step 4:

The ICM Fellows Program Presentation Phase and Master Class is the fourth step and the culmination of this professional leadership development process. During this phase, participants formally present their court projects to ICM Fellows and classmates, and reflect upon the broader impacts of their projects upon the field of court administration. They are challenged to consider their role in court leadership and how to apply their leadership skills to further contribute to the dynamic future of their courts as they embark on the next stage of their professional development in the role of ICM Fellow. Successful participants are recognized at a graduation ceremony, typically held in the Spring of the graduation year, where they are awarded the ICM Fellows diploma and receive the designation Fellow of the Institute for Court Management.


CCE Option (Virtual Offering)

Distance Learning Phase: $1,500

Residential CCE Phase: $1,500

Court Project Phase: $1,500

Presentation Phase: $1,000

Post-CCE Option

Distance Learning Phase: ----

Intersession Phase: ----

Court Project Phase: $1,500

Presentation Phase: $1,000

Scholarship Opportunities

ICM Fellows candidates may be eligible for scholarship assistance from one of the following sources. Please note that some scholarships are competitive and that membership may be required by sponsoring organizations. To inquire about a scholarship opportunity, please contact Amy McDowell or ICM Fellows.