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About Our Programs

Through the UK Rosenberg College of Law, the Heyburn Initiative hosts prominent speakers from all branches of government, as well as notable legal scholars and authors from across the country. Initiative programs and events focus on both on educating UK students about the Federal Judiciary and serving as a resource for the training needs of federal judges.

Focus on Student Engagement

Initiative speakers and conference leaders are asked to engage with UK law students, enhancing the stature of UK, the Rosenberg College of Law, and the student body that attends and so often returns to their communities to the benefit of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Past speakers include U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. ​

Spotlight Key Judicial Issues of the Day

Initiative programs put a spotlight on sensitive and timely issues of importance to judges, justices, citizens and the fabric of our life in the United States. By focusing on relevant topics and providing programs of exceptional quality, the Heyburn Initiative is distinguished as a leading resource to improve the quality of the Judiciary and to inspire all participants to excellence.

Offer Uniquely Kentucky Experience​s

Every Initiative program includes a Uniquely Kentucky event designed to showcase Kentucky and enhance its stature in the eyes of participants. Past participants have attended a UK-Georgia basketball game at Rupp Arena and visited the historic Keeneland property for a private sunset dinner. ​

Host Federal Judiciary Training for New Judges ​

In 2018, UK hosted the Federal Judicial Center's official training program for newly-confirmed U.S. District and Circuit judges. This is the first time the FJC has placed its training program at a university campus, law school, or in association with an independent initiative. The training was attended by sixteen new U.S. District and Circuit Court judge and ten sitting federal judges. It also incorporated the Initiative's hallmark small-group interactions for students and a Uniquely Kentucky event. A similar program was held in 2019. The Heyburn Initiative is proud to be a part of the regular rotation for hosting Federal Judicial Center's events.