Main content

On Topic Interview Series

“On Topic” is an interview series in which experts talk about the programs, issues and ideas shaping the federal courts.

Federal Judicial Center Marks 50th Anniversary

Published onDecember 20, 2017

The Federal Judicial Center, which has educated generations of federal judges and provided ground-breaking research on such topics as court technology and less costly ways to resolve disputes, celebrates its 50th anniversary on Dec. 20, 2017.

New Federal Bar Chief Embraces Courts’ Civics Education

Published onAugust 4, 2016

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Newman, of the Southern District of Ohio, takes over in September as the new president of the Federal Bar Association, comprised of federal legal practitioners and judges.

LGBT Pride Month: Judge Shares Coming Out Experience and Reflections on Diversity

Published onJune 23, 2016

June is LGBT Pride Month, which commemorates the accomplishments of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the civil rights gains the community has made since 1969, the year that the Stonewall riots in New York City proved to be a tipping point for the LGBT movement in the United States.

Ten Years of Online Clerkship Hiring

Published onJuly 8, 2015

Ten years and approximately 9,000 clerkship position postings ago, the federal Judiciary launched the Online System for Clerkship Applications and Review, or OSCAR. The information and application system created a transparent online law clerk hiring process for applicants and law schools, while giving federal judges a way to communicate their hiring practices and timelines.

Redesign Saves Millions, Gets Courthouse Out of a Jam

 Senior U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow

Published onMay 28, 2015

For nearly 20 years, the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland, has been overcrowded. In 1996, court officials requested an expansion, and Congress eventually authorized $10 million to design a large annex building.

Judge Recalls 1985 Case That Still Shapes Students’ Rights

Published onMay 14, 2015

More than three decades after the Supreme Court’s landmark Fourth Amendment decision in New Jersey v. T.L.O., the public defender who represented the teen in the case explains how it still applies to students and school officials today. 

On Topic: Judge Burns Recalls Pioneering Career

Published onMay 7, 2015

U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns, the longest-serving woman judge on the federal bench until she recently retired after 37 years, discusses her career in a newly released installment of “On Topic,” a U.S. Courts interview program

On Topic: Judicial Engagement with Congress and the Public

Published onDecember 17, 2014

In this episode of “On Topic” we talk about relationships, specifically the relationship between the federal courts and Congress. We’ll also look at civic engagement — how the courts reach, and teach the media and the public.

On Topic: Courts Struggle To Supervise Offenders

Published onAugust 14, 2014

In the latest On Topic interview, U.S. Judge Irene M. Keeley discusses the federal supervision system.

On Topic: Judge Gelpi Discusses Federal Bar Association

On Topic: Judge Gelpi Discusses Federal Bar Association

Published onJuly 8, 2014

U.S. District Judge Gustavo Gelpi, Jr., is the first Article III federal judge to serve as president of the Federal Bar Association. In a new “On Topic” audio interview, he explains the association’s role in defending federal courts.

On Topic: Fergus Falls Courthouse Named in Honor of Judge Devitt

Published onJune 19, 2014

The Fergus Falls Courthouse in Minnesota recently was renamed to honor one of the most distinguished federal jurists – Judge Edward J. Devitt.

On Topic: Computers to the Cloud, IT in the Federal Courts

Published onJune 4, 2014

In a new "On Topic", we'll talk about computers, videoconferencing, the cloud —in short, Information Technology. Judge Thomas Hardiman, chair of the Judicial Conference Committee on Information Technology, is our guest.