ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Magistrate Judge Alice R. Senechal has been selected to receive the prestigious American Inns of Court Professionalism Award 2021 for the Eighth Circuit. Senechal has served as a presiding judge in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota since 1990.
Senechal’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly exemplary, said Chief Justice Peter D. Welte of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, who nominated Senechal for the award on behalf of the tribunal as well. as Randy H. Lee, Ronald N. Davies and Judge Bruce M. Van Sickle American Inns of Court. “Meanwhile, the leadership and example of trial judge Senechal has been central to the North Dakota District Court’s turnaround,” Welte said. “In addition, his dynamic mind, his broad and in-depth knowledge of the law and his experience – over 30 years of experience on the bench – were essential in guiding us through this unique experience.
Between 1990 and 2015, Senechal served as a part-time trial judge while practicing for the Robert Vogel law firm in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She began full-time service in 2015. In addition, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota School of Law, where she taught professional responsibility.
Senechal is heavily involved in the bar’s activities at the local, state and national levels. She has been active with the Greater Grand Forks County Bar Association and the State Bar Association of North Dakota, as chair of the North Dakota Joint Committee on Attorney Standards. She was a representative of the Eighth Circuit with the Federal Magistrate Judges Association and also served on the Editorial Board of the Federal Courts Law Review, published by the Federal Magistrate Judges Association.
Senechal is a founding member and past president of the Randy H. Lee American Inn of Court.
Senechal began her career as a teacher at a specialty elementary school after earning an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from North Dakota State University in 1977. She received a law degree with honors from the Faculty of law from the University of Minnesota in 1984. She then served as a term clerk for Judge Bruce M. Van Sickle of the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota.
The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, inspires the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education, and mentorship. Members of the organization include nearly 30,000 federal, state and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in nearly 370 sections nationwide. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.