How To Become a Judge

A judge is a person that keeps an open mind and presides over a city, state or national government court. A judge does not always have to work alone but instead can be part of a panel of judges.

Judges can be appointed or elected, depending on experience and state laws. Becoming a judge isn’t easy and takes a lot of hard work; however, it's a great profession. As you will see, by following the steps below you can reach your goal and be a great judge.      

Start in high school by taking as many history, political, economical, and government courses as possible. Joining the debate team, the chess club, or any other club that encourages critical thinking can also give you confidence and skills that could be useful later on in your career.

In your junior year of high school, look for a university that offers extensive, highly rated law programs.  You will want to get your degree as an attorney first. To do so, you must get a Juris Doctor or J.D. This will give you experience in practicing and learning the law.      

Once you've graduated with a  J.D., you will have to pass your state bar examination. Different states have different requirements for this examination, but all states do require you to have a license to practice law.

Maintain the highest integrity in your dealings as you practice law.  After you've been a lawyer for at least five years, start keeping an eye out for an opening in the court of your choice. Once there's an opening, apply for a judgeship there. The procedures for doing this vary according to your location and court rules. Keep in mind that this is a very competitive field of work and you will need a high level of political support in order to land a job. If applying for a state judgeship, you will most likely have to impress the members of a judge nominating commission. Starting small is your best bet. The more experience you have, the higher chances you have of landing a job in a state courtroom.

In most cases, new judges are required to go through an orientation stage; this usually includes a training course as well. This is to ensure that you make fair judgment and decisions in the courtroom.

Taking educational seminars and courses is also a good idea. These can help you further pursue higher judicial rankings and jobs. There also may be judicial conventions in your area that may provide you with tips, updates, and further instruction throughout your judicial career.


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