for our court system. Judges are in charge of trials to make sure
that they are fair. They deal with a wide variety of cases from
minor traffic violations to more serious crimes like stealing
and murder. They resolve differences between opposing lawyers
hold pretrial hearings for cases. They may decide whether a case
merits a trial.
tell juries about the law. They research legal issues. Sometimes
lawyers or law clerks do research for judges. Judges also write
opinions on the law.
cases, judges decide how long someone will go to prison. In civil
cases that may involve money but no crime, judges decide how much
money one person must pay another.
vary. Some judges deal with cases involving serious crimes. Other
judges decide cases about traffic rules, families, and small amounts
of money. Some oversee cases dealing with Social Security benefits,
the environment, and many other issues.
to know the law very well. Good judgment and patience are important
most of their work in offices, law libraries, and courtrooms.
Sitting in the same position in the courtroom for long periods
can be tiring. Most judges wear robes when they are in a courtroom.
Judges often work a 40-hour week. However, many work more than
50 hours a week.
degree and work experience is the minimum requirement to be a
judge. A number of lawyers become judges. In fact, most judges
have first been lawyers. Federal and State judges usually are
required to be lawyers.
are appointed for lifetime. Others have terms ranging form 4 to
14 years. All States have some type of training for new judges.
Judges take continuing education courses. These courses last from
a couple of days to 3 weeks.
|How much does this job pay?
half of all judges earned between $44,970 and $120,390. The Chief
Justice of the United States Supreme Court earned $198,600.
27,000 judges in 2002. Most worked in State and local government.
of judges is expected to grow more slowly than the average for
all occupations through 2012. Federal, State, and local governments
are trying to save money and will not hire very many new judges.
Judges will face a lot of competition for jobs. Many lawyers and
others want to become judges because judges are highly respected.
|Are there other jobs like this?
- Law clerks
- Title examiners,
abstractors, and searchers
Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of
Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics
|Where can you find more information?
about judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers can be found
in the Careers