Becoming a Judge in the USA: A Guide from University of the People.
The legal field offers a variety of positions beyond a career as a lawyer. If you're interested in becoming a judge, we've gathered all the necessary information to prepare you for this exciting career path. From job expectations to professional requirements, read on to discover what a career as a judge entails.
As a judge, your responsibilities include presiding over hearings and trials, making objective decisions and determining the admissibility of evidence in court. Depending on the type of trial, you may have the power to handle the ruling yourself, rather than relying on a jury. If serving alongside other judges for a case, decisions are made by majority rule. To become a federal judge, legislative confirmation is required for a lifetime appointment.
While the path to becoming a judge demands extensive preparation and experience in the legal field, it can also be a lucrative career choice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, judges earn an average salary of $124,200 per year.
In order to become a judge, you must first accumulate years of legal expertise, often obtained through roles as a defense attorney or prosecutor. Building a strong reputation and network within the legal and political communities is also essential, as judges are appointed or elected. Educational requirements include a bachelor's degree and a Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an American Bar Association-approved law school.
To become a judge, you must take certain steps, including earning a bachelor's degree in subjects like political science, philosophy, or criminal justice, as well as completing a legal internship or joining a debate team. You'll also need to take the LSAT and earn a high score for admittance into law school. After completing the three-year JD program, you'll be eligible for a career as a judge.
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