Have you ever wished you were Judge Judy?

Judge Judy snapping her fingers

As a judge, you're a recognized legal professional.

Learning more about the career can help you determine if it's the right path for you.

What Does A Judge Do?

A judge oversees a trial or hearing by serving as an impartial referee, making decisions on which arguments, questions and evidence are admissible (valid or legally allowed).

A person dancing in front of a judge in court

  • Judges will sometimes hand down a ruling (decision on the case), and determine the sentence (punishment) during trials.

  • Some judges hear cases alone and decide by themselves, while others work with other judges to deliver rulings based on majority rule.

  • In the US, some judges are elected officials and also do similar campaigning as politicians.

  • Many federal judicial positions require legislative confirmation and are lifetime appointments.

Quiz

A judge decides a case based on:

How Do I Become A Judge?

There's a relatively set path for becoming a judge:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree in any subject

  2. Take the Law School Admission Test

  3. Attend law school and earn a Juris Doctorate (a fancy name for a law degree)

  4. Pass the bar exam

  5. Create your resume (focus on legal skills and experiences)

  6. Consider becoming a clerk (working for a judge will help you understand the job)

  7. Practice law

  8. Earn your judgeship — elected or appointed

A gavel on a table Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

What's The Salary?

American flag Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

Judges in the United States make an average of $89,000/USD a year .  The range is from $14,000 to $222,000 per year based on full-time employment. Some judges can be part-time as well.

Canadian flag Photo by Praveen Kumar Nandagiri on Unsplash

Judges in Canada average $100,000/CAD year . The range is from $88,000 to $140,000 CAD a year. Canadian judges are also full-time for the most part as well.

Quiz

I want to be a judge because:

Pros And Cons

You'll love it if you:

  • Like to have a respected position in society

  • Can decide cases fairly

  • Want to help people resolve disputes

  • Don't like dealing with clients

  • Want a chance to shape the law

This might not be for you if:

  • Having a heavy workload is troubling

  • You don't want to deal with lawyers, defendants, and law all day

  • You don't want to be in the public eye

  • You don't have patience explaining things to people

Homer Simpson disappearing into a bush with the text,

Take Action

Do you already have some of the skills?

  1. Critical Thinking 🧐

  2. Writing ✍🏼

  3. Resolving Conflict ⚖

  4. Analyzing the law 🧾📜

If you're interested in becoming a judge:

Lebron James wearing a judge outfit

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This Byte has been authored by

LT

Laura Tolsma

Instructional Designer & eLearning Developer