How I Think and Do: Judge Paul Ridgeway

How I Think and Do: Judge Paul Ridgeway

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[MUSIC] I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I
come from a family where my grandfather was a lawyer in Europe, sort of
between the two World Wars, so I have tremendous respect for the law. And as I
became a lawyer, I gravitated towards being a judge because it’s really the
type of work that just fascinates me. Every day is a new challenge. Superior
Court judges we rotate throughout the state of North Carolina and we try cases.
So we try all of your felony criminal cases, from drug cases, homicide cases
everything in between. We do a lot of cases involving civil cases like medical
malpractice, contract cases, real estate. Many of the things we see in our
courtrooms really relate to issues that are going on in our society. They may be
economic conditions, they may be mental health issues, educational issues, certainly criminal justice, recidivism — all of those things that we
encounter there. So having that solid background that I got from NC State in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences gave me that background to really understand
some of the social problems that we confront on a daily basis here in this
courtrooms. I really valued the practical aspect of
the degrees that I got. I have a Bachelor of Science in political science and then an
MPA degree. And in both of those, the teachers emphasized applied research
techniques, understanding the things we were reading, not just sort of the
academic approach to things but how to apply these things in the field and
on the ground, and that’s what I think NC State is so good at, and it certainly
served me well over the years. NC State is a place where you truly think and do.
It’s a great academic institution. The professors, the faculty, the
administration, the research facilities are first-rate. But NC State is also
known for doing. When you get out of NC State, you can bet that you’re going to
make an impact in whatever you decide to go into. My name is Judge
Paul Ridgeway, and I’m a public servant. This is how I think and do.

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