Governor Locke desires a field of high quality individuals from which to choose new judges. For this purpose, he encourages county and specialty bar associations to involve themselves in the appointment process. Applications from members of these associations help to provide a broad base of prospective judges from which to locate high quality candidates.
Further, county and specialty bar associations are encouraged to develop and maintain evaluation programs for their members and non-members. Any open and unbiased system of ratings for prospective judges provides welcome information that will assist the Governor in his decision.
Finally, the Governor strongly encourages all those aspiring to a judicial position to obtain rating from as many bar associations as possible. Many bar associations, such as Washington Women Lawyers and the King County Bar Association will evaluate candidates and assign rankings that are valid for a number of years. The Washington State Bar Association provides evaluations for candidates for the appellate courts. Because most bar associations rely on volunteer efforts, it may be difficult to obtain a rating on short notice, after a vacancy has opened. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals set about obtaining ratings soon after they have decided to submit an application for appointment.