Judge Career Overview
Being a judge is considered a very prestigious position in the legal profession. They are asked to preside over legal cases involving people from different positions in society.
Part of the judge’s duties are to ensure that the proceedings are conducted in a very fair and impartial manner. The rights of all parties must be safeguarded.
If the trial is not being heard by a jury, it is up to the judge to weigh all the evidence and apply the law to the facts of the case. In a civil trial, this means it is up to the judge to decide liability and make a determination about the appropriate level of compensation. For criminal matters, the judge will decide on the accused person’s guilt or innocence and impose a sentence if he or she is found guilty.
Most people who become judges are licensed attorneys first. For most jobs at the state or federal level, judges must be lawyers. Some states do allow non-lawyers to become judges, but their powers are limited and there are not many of these opportunities available.
Each state sets its own standards for licensing and training for judges. New judges in all jurisdictions must go through some type of orientation before being allowed to start hearing cases.
Judges and magistrates may be either appointed or elected. In many states, the process of choosing a new judge involves judicial nominating commissions which screen candidates for the position.
Judge Salary Information
The median salary for a judge is $116,010, not including any bonuses or benefits you may be entitled to.
Employment Trends for Judges
The overall employment growth is projected to be slower than average. Blame budgetary pressures and the number of people who would like to become judges for the less-than-encouraging prospects over the next few years.