Why To Be A Judge

How Long Does It Take To Become A Judge?
At the very least, you need a bachelor's degree and some work experience in order to qualify for judgeship. It is often necessary for judges to be lawyers. Candidates interested in the positions of local state or federal judge, need to have a law degree. This path requires significant amount of time as you will need to put in seven years of study after earning your high school diploma. After completing a four-year undergraduate degree, three years of law school is required. Federal administrative law judges must pass an exam from the US Office of Personnel Management, in addition to being a lawyer. Candidates will study the following courses: constitutional law, role of American judiciary, contracts, property law, legal writing, and civil procedure. Most judges are appointed or elected into these positions, and serve for fixed renewable terms that range from 4 to 14 years.

How Can You Benefit From Online Degree Programs?
Traditional programs with their fixed study schedules are often not convenient and sometimes even impossible for students who have family constraints or have full-time jobs. Online education is an attractive alternative for them. In online programs, students can complete their coursework at their own pace. They may also study at a time that is suitable to them as long as they have an internet connection. Students are given quizzes, assignments, and readings through online resources. This format is also more economical as you get to save on transportation and accommodation expenses. Students should choose programs from ABA accredited law schools. Services such as career counseling, financial aid, and academic guidance are not exclusive to traditional educational setup, they are also offered to students who are in online degree programs.

What Do They Do?
The fundamental responsibility of a judge is to preside over trials and hearings in local, state, and federal courts. They have to listen to the arguments of different parties, and then apply their knowledge of law to these cases. It is up to them to determine whether the information and facts presented actually support the claim. They have to ascertain that the procedure applied is in conformity with the laws. When the need arises, they approve search and arrest warrants.

The nature of cases they resolve is quite diverse. Some of the areas are:

  • Discrimination
  • Family and Juvenile Law
  • Domestic violence
  • Corporation Rights
  • Traffic Violations and misdemeanors

What is the Job Outlook?
As vacancies for judges must be authorized and legislature approved, the number of judgeships almost remain the same. Budgetary constraints have restricted growth in this occupation as holding trials is quite expensive. The employment of judges is only expected to grow by 7 percent from 2010 to 2020 as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, as this position is deemed highly prestigious, many candidates aspire to a judgeship. Job prospects are much better for those who have specialized in areas such as conciliation, arbitration, and mediation. The median annual wage of judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates amounted to $119,270 in May 2010. Salaried judges also enjoy many other benefits such as health insurance, vacation and sick leaves, pension plans, and expense accounts.

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