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‘Pathways Video:’ Judge Walton Passes On Lessons From His Youth

U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton, a talented football player who overcame adversity in high school through strong adult guidance, is the subject of a newly released edition of Pathways to the Bench, a U.S. Courts video series in which federal judges talk about challenges that helped prepare them to serve justice.

Appointed in 2001 to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Walton said his first courtroom experiences were in his youth when he appeared in juvenile court for fighting. Before joining the federal bench, he served as a D.C. Superior Court judge, telling troubled youths of his own past when he saw potential in them.

“You would see the light just go off, and they would say, ‘You stood where I’m standing at one point,’ and I’d say yes,” Walton recalls. “It’s important not to let either people define what your future is and who you are, or your background to define who you are and what you can do.”

Watch other videos in the Pathways to the Bench series. While intended for all audiences, the Pathways videos are especially inspiring to high school students and youth groups to overcome obstacles on the way to achieving dreams.

Related Topics: Judges & Judgeships, Judicial History, Public Education