The Hon. William T. Newman, chief judge of Arlington County Circuit Court, spoke to the CUA Law community on Feb. 26 about the duties of his job as the invited guest speaker of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).
Judge Newman, a 1977 alumnus of the Columbus School of Law, shared his career experiences and offered advice on how to advance a career in the law.
Some of his suggestions were predictable, such as urging young lawyers to come into every situation as well-prepared as possible. Judge Newman confided that there are times when it truly is the lawyer’s job to educate the judge on a subject that they might not totally be familiar with.
Other tips from Judge Newman are not necessarily heard every day. For instance, he recommended a course in theater as useful training for aspiring courtroom attorneys, to accustom them to acting in ways they wouldn't normally do in front of a group of strangers.
Judge Newman studied theater in college and joined an acting troupe in the D.C. area for a time before eventually deciding to pursue a law degree at Catholic University. He still likes to audition for parts in area stage productions.
Like everyone, judges have things they like most and least about their jobs. Judge Newman told the audience of students, faculty, and staff that his favorite cases involve the happiness of successful adoptions, while his least favorite day in the courtroom is sentencing day.
Before he became a judge, Newman was a partner at the law firm of Carpenter, Newman, Martin, Berkowitz and Garnes. He has served as a judge on the Arlington County Circuit Court since 1993 and as the chief judge since 2003. .
His speaking engagement at CUA Law was part of BLSA’s Black History Month Program and was followed by a reception.