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The Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI) Summit, co-hosted by SMU Dedman School of Law and the ABA Judicial Conference, is the pre-eminent provider of appellate judicial education in the United States. Designed by appellate judges, lawyers, and staff attorneys, the annual AJEI summits are unique in their focus on the challenging issues that judges and lawyers confront in the appellate arena.
 
The annual 2011 AJEI Summit was held in Washington, DC from November 10-13 and featured an interview and conversation with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
 
The conference covered a wide range of topics such as the art and science of judicial decision-making, the 1807 trial of Aaron Burr, and the founding of the Constitution. A handful of SMU Dedman Law students were selected to attend the conference and enjoyed the experience thoroughly.
 
“It was such an honor and a pleasure to be able to hear Justice Sotomayor speak at the Appellate Judges Education Institute," said 3L Amber Reece, "One thing that really stood out to me was when she spoke about maintaining collegiality, and how all of the Justices are passionate about the same thing—they care deeply about our Constitution, our democracy, and our way of life. I think that’s something that all lawyers should remember – as lawyers, we are all fighting for the same values when we are litigating, even really contentious issues, because law is a profession that helps people solve their problems,” said 3L Amber Reece.
 
The 2011 Washington DC Summit marks the eighth summit organized by SMU Dedman School of Law and co-hosted by the American Bar Association. Faculty members who participated this year include Dean John B. Attanasio, Linda Eads, and Jeffrey Bellin.