A judge is a person that makes sure those hearings and trials are handled fairly in regard to the laws. A judge will preside over cases that may involve civil disputes, traffic violations, and business disputes. In cases where juries are called on to make decisions regarding the outcome of the case a judge will instruct the jury on the laws that are applicable in the particular case and tell the jury how to listen to the evidence that has been presented during the case. The judge will hear the verdict made by the jury.
A typical day as a judge may consist of presiding over hearings or trials to ensure they are conducted fairly, listening to lawyer’s present cases, ruling on whether or not certain evidence is allowed in court, settling disputes between lawyers who are opposing each other in a case, directing juries, and deciding cases where a jury is not present.
Becoming a Judge
The majority of judges begin their careers as lawyers. There are limited jurisdiction judgeships allowed in 40 states. Every state in the country provides a judicial training and education program that lasts about three weeks for every new judge. There are 25 states that require judges to take additional courses throughout their term on the bench.
There are some judges that are appointed by the government and other judges that are elected by the public.
In order to become a judge a person will first need to earn an undergraduate degree. While there is no specific requirement of bachelor’s degree to attend law school, most students choose history, business, political science, or economics.
Once completing a bachelor’s degree it will be necessary to earn a law degree. Anyone practicing law must attend a law school that has been approved by the ABA (American Bar Association). This legal education will take three years to complete.
After completing law school, a person must then pass the bar exam to become an attorney. This examination may be different from state to state. A person that has been approved to practice law in Indiana cannot practice law in Texas or any other state unless they pass the bar exam for that particular state.
It is recommended that anyone that wishes to become a judge should work as an attorney for at least a few years after completing law school
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are not going to be many more new jobs for judges in the future. There are some positions as judges that are for life while other positions have renewable terms and fixed terms.
In order to become a judge a person has to be elected to the position or appointed. A lawyer can apply to be a judge by submitting their name to the nominating commission or politicians may recommend certain lawyers for specific judgeships.
For the most part, being nominated to become a judge will require a long history of practice as a lawyer along with support from politicians.
Once a person is appointed or elected as a judge they will then be required to attend training programs that are administered by the state or by other legal organizations including the National Judicial College or the ABA. A person that is appointed to a federal judge position will be provided with training from the Federal Judicial Center.