How Do You Become a Judge

If you are considering a career choice where you have the opportunity to use your knowledge and experience to make decisions which have a direct bearing on people’s lives, then you will be interested in the answer to the question, “How do you become a judge?” This is not an entry-level position by any means, but it is one which can be incredibly rewarding for people who can take the facts of a case and apply the law to them.

Education Required

There are several steps involved in becoming a judge. Before you can enroll in law school, you will need to complete a Bachelor’s degree program. Just about any major will prepare you for law school; students have been accepted who hold degrees in engineering, business, political science, economics, psychology and music.

Admission to law school is competitive, and all applicants must provide the results of their Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to be considered. Once you have been admitted to law school, you will take courses in a number of subject areas, including:

• Commercial Law and Finance
• Constitutional Law and Civil Rights
• Criminal Law
• Employment and Labor Law
• Environmental Law
• Family Law
• Government Structure and Function
• Health Law
• Human Rights
• Intellectual Property
• International Law
• Legal & Political Theory
• Legal History
• Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility
• Procedure & Practice
• Regulatory Law
• Taxation

Once you complete your degree, you will need to write bar exams and undergo a background check before being able to practice law.

Work Experience

If your goal is to become a judge, you will need to have several years of practical experience. Practicing law is one way to develop the skills you need, but you may also want to consider working for a judge as a law clerk to get experience working in the courts. Once you have worked in the field for a while and you would like to be considered for a position on the Bench, submit your name to the nominating committee when a seat becomes vacant.

Judges can be appointed or elected. Part of developing the profile required to be considered for a vacancy is to have a good reputation in the legal community. It doesn’t hurt to have good political connections, either. No matter where you decide to work as an attorney, make a point of being active in your community. Developing relationships with leaders will help you to have the support you need to present yourself as a good candidate when the opportunity presents itself.

Once you are appointed or elected to a spot on the Bench, you will need to attend a training session administered by the state where you will be sitting. After you have been sworn in as a judge, you will be expected to continue your education by taking continuing education courses and participating in training programs.

The answer to the question, “How do you become a judge?” is that it takes the right education and experience to attain this position in the legal field.

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