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How to Become a Judge

How to Become a Judge PhotoPeople want to learn how to become a judge for different reasons; maybe they had a family member or role model who was a judge. Maybe they want to contribute to the justice system by handing down verdicts. Or maybe they enjoy writing decisions.

Get the proper qualifications

There are certain steps that cannot be skipped if you want to be a judge. You need to get a college degree. If the degree is the one that can help with you law school, that would be better. Then, you need to go to law school.

After graduating from law school, you need to take and pass the bar. This will be in the state where you would like to practice. Once you pass the bar, you become eligible to practice law in that state. At this point, you still have some ways to go before you can apply.

Experience

Check the requirements for judges in your area. Usually, there will be a minimum number of years of experience needed. This is needed because a judge will preside over all sorts of cases. Experience as a practicing lawyer will be helpful in this regard.

If you want to become a judge, you can also choose to clerk for one. By working in a judge’s office, you get an inside peek into the job. You gain experience doing research and writing decisions on cases. At the same time, you learn about what is needed to keep the office running.

Apply for an opening

Keep your ear to the ground so that you know if there’s an opening. If there’s an open slot, a nominating committee will accept applications for the post. At this point, you need to work hard on your application. This document will factor into the eventual decision.

One important thing is to make sure your application is polished. If your application contains typos, this will be taken against you. After all, a judge is expected to pay attention to the fine details. If your application contains basic errors, you’re less likely to be chosen.

Identify your significant cases

During the application process, you may be asked about your significant court cases. This is a way for the committee to get to know you as a lawyer. It also gives the insight into what kind of judge you might be. So consider your answer carefully.

Ideally, these cases will have something special about them related to the law. If one of your cases helped set a precedent, that would be helpful. If you argued a case before an appeals court, that could be a positive as well. Remember that your competition may present their cases as well.

The road to the position of judge is a difficult and heavy one. But if this is what you want, then you should pursue it. Keep this advice in mind, and remain persistent.