June 29, 2020

Dr. Ortega Announced as Keynote Speaker for National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 83rd Annual Conference


Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Associate Dean of Career Services and Professional Development, Dr. Bridgett Ortega, has been announced as the opening keynote speaker for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 83rd Annual Conference on July 20, 2020.

Dr. Ortega’s session on Compassionate Jurisprudence will help to set the tone for the conference and inspire change. This topic is of particular interest to Dr. Ortega as it is also the title of her dissertation: Compassionate Jurisprudence: As Praxis for Justice

Dr. Ortega is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and is currently the equity and inclusion officer for the Georgia affiliate of the ACLU. She has spent more than 30 years working for criminal and juvenile justice reform and is a national trainer on subjects dealing with juvenile and adult drug courts, domestic violence, equity, and inclusion, improving outcomes for children of the incarcerated, and is an expert in juvenile justice. As a law professor, she has taught ethics, trial skills, criminal and juvenile justice, and experiential learning courses. Dr. Ortega also spearheaded the creation of the Homeless Veterans Legal Clinic at AJMLS and collaborated with AJMLS students to develop and write Home for Good: Overcoming Legal Barriers to Reentry in Georgia, a self-help guide designed to answer practical, legal questions to help citizens successfully remain in their community. 

Previously in May, Dr. Ortega spoke at another national conference, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals RISE20. Her session at this conference was also entitled Compassionate Jurisprudence. The conference program described her session as,

Little is understood about human-centered judging or how judging with compassion impacts everyone in the courtroom. Given this lack of understanding, an action research study was conducted to explore how human-centered judging affected the thoughts, communications, and behaviors of 32 adult drug court judges. This workshop will explore the themes discovered that support a more compassionate approach to justice in our system of American jurisprudence.

Thank you, Dr. Ortega, for sharing your expertise and passion both in and out of the classroom. Your research is making a difference and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law students are receiving invaluable instruction from you.