Legal Careers Schenectady NY
Finance, Creative, Executive
Information Technology, Engineering, Human Resources
How to become a Judge
The process of becoming a judge depends on a number of factors, particularly the level of judicial standing. For example, arbitrators will have different requirements to magistrates and magistrates will have different requirements to federal judges. The minimum requirements for the position of judge are a bachelor's degree accompanied by work experience. Most judges on ahigher level hold law degrees. Although it is not required, most judges have practiced law as attorneys. State and Federal judges are often required to hold law degrees, which also require passing the Bar Association exam. Approximately 40 states permit non-lawyers to work as judges although their power may be limited.
Federal Administrative Law Judges are required to be lawyers. They must also pass a competitive examination which is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
All states require all judges, either elected or appointed, to have some form of orientation. Among those offering orientation programs are the American Bar Association, the National Judicial College, the Federal Judicial Center and the National Center for State Courts. This orientation may also be required for other personnel involved in the judicial area. Additionally, more than 50% of the states require judges to participate in continuing education whilst on the bench.
Training for lesser positions such as mediators, arbitrators and conciliators is typically provided by postsecondary schools, independent mediation programs and national and local mediation membership organizations.
There are no required national licensure requirements for mediators, arbitrators and conciliators. Licensure or certification procedures vary widely from state to state.
What does a Judge do?
Judges in all capacities are responsible for applying the law to determine the legalities involved in the cases that come before the courts. Depending on their position, judges and magistrates preside over a diverse number of legal issues from civil rights to traffic offenses. It is up to the judge to make sure that each trial is handled efficiently and without prejudice.
The most notable duties of judges, as portrayed in movies and on television, is presiding over a courtroom and listening to the testimony of witnesses as well as the claims made by both sides of the cases presented before the court. In addition to overseeing the jury, members of the court, prosecution and defense, the judge may also be called upon to render a final decision in a case. Judges usually have pre-trial hearings with representatives for the prosecution and defense in order to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. ,b>Judges may also use their discretion to grant or deny bail.
In criminal cases, a judge may determine guilt and the subsequent punishment, including jail or fines, or both. In civil suits judges will determine the amount of money to be awarded in ter...