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Episode 11: The Judge is In with Ashley Beall

podcast Jun 25, 2020

During today’s episode of Fast Lane with Sara Jayne, Sara speaks with Ashley Beall, a judge based in Minot, North Dakota. Ashley speaks about her journey to becoming a judge, her previous experience working as a public defender, and how she keeps the balance between her life at work and at home.


Episode Highlights: 

  • Ashley talks about the beginning of her journey to becoming a judge.
  • How frequently are you actually in court?
  • When you’re a judge, you no longer have a private practice?
  • That would be true if she were a district court judge, but not for a municipal court judge.
  • What is the most difficult part of your job?
  • Seeing defendants who have unmet needs, and how that can create a cycle that is very difficult to escape.
  • Ashley believes that every person deserves to have an advocate that makes them a human in the eyes of the court.
  • Were you ever worried to be around any of your clients?
  • Will you always be a judge?
  • Ashley will have to run again every 4 years, but she sees herself continuing as a judge.
  • Being a young mom, is it ever hard to turn off some of the situations you see when you go home?
  • Did you have a limit on the number of cases you could have at one time?
  • Do people who you represented years ago ever reach out to you again when the case is over?
  • How could an average person help someone in a bad situation?
  • What are some misconceptions people have about judges?
  • It’s not a business, the judicial system isn’t out there making a ton of money.
  • Ashley explains how she handles disrespectful defendants.
  • It’s unusual for defendants to be represented by attorneys in municipal court.
  • When you were a prosecutor, did you ever have people who wanted to defend themselves?
  • When you meet your defense clients, where do you usually meet them?
  • Ashley doesn’t like meeting with people in jail because they are usually in crisis.
  • What are some things from law shows that are very fake?
  • If you could encourage people to do one thing to be better, live better, do better, what would it be?
  • Help people because it’s the right thing to do, not because you’re expecting a certain reaction.


3 Key Points:

  1. The purpose of a defense attorney is to make sure the defendant’s rights are protected.
  2. Even as an average person, there are ways you can help at-risk youth or adults.
  3. In municipal court, cases generally move very slowly.

Resources Mentioned: 


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