JUDGES apply the law and oversee the legal process in courts according to local, state, and federal statutes. They resolve civil disputes and determine guilt or innocence in criminal cases. Judges preside over trials or hearings and listen as lawyers represent the parties present. They ensure rules and procedures are followed, and they determine the manner in which a trial will proceed based on their interpretation of the law. Judges examine evidence in criminal cases and instruct juries on their responsibilities.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $126,500 average per year ($60.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (25,900 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.1% per year)
Almost all jurisdictions require that anyone appointed or elected a JUDGE to any court be a graduate of an accredited law school and a member of the bar. Federal and state judges are usually required to be lawyers. Federal administrative law judges must be lawyers and pass a competitive examination administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. They are appointed by federal agencies and have lifetime tenure. Federal magistrate judges are appointed by district judges to serve in a United States district court for a period of eight years.