Judge William Dressel 63 went into private practice
after earning his juris doctorate from the University of Denver
Law School. In July 1978, he was appointed a judge in Colorados
8th Judicial District; he was retained in 1980, 1986, 1992, and
1998 general elections.
Judge Dressel has been admitted to practice before the Supreme
Court of the State of Colorado, 10th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme
Court. Hehas been president of the Colorado District Judges
Association and chair of the Colorado Trial Judges Council,
which represents both district and county judges.
He is past chair of the National Conference of State Trial Judges.
In 1991, Judge Dressel was appointed by Colorado Chief Justice Luis
Rovira to be the Judicial Departments representative on the
Colorado Legislatures Criminal Justice Commission and was
reappointed to a second term in 1993. Hes the principal author
of the Trial Management Standards adopted by the American Bar Association
House of Delegates in 1992.
Dressel taught law courses at the University of Denver. Hes
been a consultant to the National Center for State Courts, the Center
for Effective Public Policy, the Justice Management Institute, and
is a member of the Colorado Judicial Faculty.
He served as a faculty member of The National Judicial College
from 1998 to 1993, when he was appointed to its board of trustees.
He became president of the college in November 2000.
In 1998, Judge Dressel received the Justice Managements Ernest
C. Friesen Award of Excellence in recognition of his vision, leadership,
and sustained commitment to the achievement of excellence in the
administration of justice. He and his wife, Angela, live in Reno.
They have five grown children: Amy D essel 90, Carrie
Jo, Peggy, Bill, and Hunter.
The National Judicial College
After retiring from the bench, Judge Dressel became president of
The National Judicial College, a not-for-profit organization based
in Reno, Nev. The colleges mission is to advance justice through
Being a judge is one of the most demanding careers there
is, he says. I spent 20 years making decisions that
affected people in the most personal ways possible. I took kids
away from parents. I took away peoples property. I put people
in prison. I was making some really tough decisions.
For me, there came a time when I gave all I could and I
needed to move onto the next phase of my career. I cant think
of a better place than The National Judicial College to end my working
The National Judicial College was formed in 1963 by a commission
of the American Bar Association. The need for judicial education
was evident from the start: more than 300 judges applied for 83
Over the past four decades, the college has issued 58,000 certificates
of completion to judges from all 50 states, the District of Columbia,
and U.S. Territories. More than 2,000 foreign judges from about
150 countries have received training at the college, as have American
Indian tribal judges, military judges, and court administrators.
Most classes last one to two weeks and are taught on site. Some
distance learning programs also are available. The school now offers
more than 50 courses on topics ranging from general juris diction
and special courts for new judges to pharmacology and sentencing.
The National Judicial College staff also works to develop courses
for other entities educating those in the legal profession.
The college houses a 75,000 volume law library, technology enhanced
classrooms, a state of the art model courtroom, a computer lab,
and offices of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Courts
Were trying to prepare judges for todays and
tomorrows challenges, says Judge Dressel. We teach
judges things like how to use computers in the courtroom, how to
be media friendly, how to deal with the aging population in court,
and special considerations involved when juveniles are charged as
As president of the college, Judge Dressel oversees 56 staff members
and about 300 volunteer instructors. He teaches a couple of courses
each year, but spends most of his time courting donors, representing
the college, and speaking to judicial organizations across the country.
For me, interacting with the judiciary, hearing their concerns,
and knowing I can be part of the solution is the best part of this
job, he says.