Judges preside over local, state, and national courts. They are responsible for ensuring that disputes between individuals or individuals and their government are resolved according to established laws. Courts are also available to protect individual rights from government excesses. Judges start out as attorneys and typically practice law for a number of years before being appointed or elected as judges. This article describes the path to obtaining a judiciary in the United States.
Part 1 of 3: Meet Educational Requirements
Step 1. Get a four-year bachelor's degree from a university
To prepare for a top-notch law school, attend the best possible university. Ivy League colleges like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton will prepare you well for law school. However, prestigious law schools often accept students from smaller universities. Making sure you participate in extracurricular activities like discussion and preparing for the LSAT are the most important things to remember while pursuing your undergraduate degree.
Step 2. There are no specific requirements; many law school applicants have a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in subjects such as political science, sociology, history, business, and economics
All discipline has application to the field of law and therefore your future role as a judge. The more rigorous your undergraduate courses, the more prepared you will be for law school.
- Your performance in college will determine whether you are accepted to law school, so get the highest possible grades. Complete assignments on time, keep up with your readings, and study properly for exams.
- Get real-life experience by doing an internship at a law firm during your undergraduate years. The faster you become familiar with the legal world, the better it will be.
Step 3. Apply to a law school
It takes many years to pursue a career in the judiciary, so it's best to get to law school as quickly as possible after you graduate from college. Apply to the best schools in areas where you could eventually practice your career.
Win the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). It is important that you get the highest grade you can. The competition to enter law school is very high and is even higher in the best schools in the country. People who become judges usually get the highest marks.
- Consider enrolling for the LSAT preparatory course or hire a private tutor to help you excel and get a high mark.
- If you are not satisfied with your LSAT score, you can take the test again before applying to law school.
- Write smart and interesting personal statements. The ability to research, write, and think analytically is key in law school. Show that you are a prime candidate by putting in a lot of effort in your personal statements and writing examples.
Step 4. Finish law school
Most schools offer a 3-year program and upon completion they will offer you a Juris Doctor degree. Do not just rely on your commitment to get good grades and be among the best in your class, you will have to stand out from your classmates as one of the best if you want to get a prestigious job after school.
- During the first year of law school, students learn the fundamentals of law, such as civil procedure, contracts, and crimes. In the next two years, effective courses are given in specialized fields such as family law and tax law.
- It is essential that you gain experience working with attorneys while you are in law school. Make an appointment with your school's career services office for information about internship opportunities in your area.
Step 5. Win the revalidation exam
This exam is one designated by the American Revalidation Association to determine if a candidate is qualified to practice law in their jurisdiction. Each state has its own exam and you will have to win it in the state where you want to practice. These exams vary in difficulty level and pass / fail rates in different states.
- Enroll in a preparatory course for the revalidation exam. There are a few different programs for this review, the most popular of which are the Barbri and Kaplan.
- Take this exam as soon as possible after you graduate from law school so the information is fresh. If you don't win it the first time, take it again.
Part 2 of 3: Gain experience
Step 1. Work as a lawyer
Judges must work as lawyers before obtaining the judiciary. Attorneys represent clients in court and in other legal proceedings to resolve disputes and protect the interests of their clients.
- There are a variety of fields in which an attorney can specialize, including immigration law, corporate law, tax law, civil rights law, environmental law, and intellectual property law. Choose a field that you are passionate about.
- When you're just starting out, apply for starting positions in law firms and offices in your state.
Step 2. Spend a lot of time in the courtroom
Being a state attorney or attorney offers a unique opportunity to become familiar with how the bench operates. If you ever find yourself in this type of job and you prefer to spend your time in front of a judge rather than doing legal research, seeking the position of judge might be a good option for you.
- You don't have to be a prosecutor to become a judge, but most people who apply for and aspire to a judiciary have a lot of experience as prosecutors.
- Investing time in the courtroom is also beneficial because it gives prosecutors and others whose support you may need a chance to get to know you. Do your best to be a regular, high-profile presence in your local court system.
Step 3. Prepare to be a good judge
The road to a judiciary is more about the networking you can do. It's that important to hone and demonstrate character so that you can master the authority and honor of having the power to make important legal decisions.
- Be respectful to court assistants, courtroom reporters, and the opposing attorney. Your job as a lawyer is to seek justice, not to alter court procedures for the purpose of making your own career.
- Show dignity and patience when under stress. If you lose your character or reveal an unfair bias during a stressful time, you will not be taken seriously as a judicial candidate when the time comes to apply.
- Develop empathy for a wide range of people. As a judge, you will need to be able to listen to people at all times. Each person deserves the same careful, balanced, legally accurate and fair consideration and it is your responsibility to provide it.
Part 3 of 3: Find a Judiciary
Step 1. Apply for a judiciary in your state
Candidates apply through a judicial nominating commission or may be recommended by senators or other politicians. Either way, candidates must go through a lengthy application process. At the end of the process, they may be elected or appointed to work as judges, depending on the jurisdiction.
- Federal, state, and local judges have fixed or renewable terms of office, while some federal judges are long-term appointees.
- Get ready to reveal personal information in your app. The mistakes of a judge's past are always revealed and sometimes resumed in the press. They will ask you about your involvement in past lawsuits, treatment or counseling you have received for substance abuse and the like.
- Send the application to the bar association. In addition to applying to a judiciary through the state supreme court, it is necessary to be evaluated by the bar association that can influence judicial decision-making. These associations have the power to either recommend or not recommend you for a judiciary, so this app should be taken seriously.
- Apply more than once. Most people do not get the judiciary on the first try. In fact, being rejected at the first opportunity is almost considered a prerequisite for eventually being elected. Retake the application process, continue to gather support from judges, and show your talents and qualifications in the courtroom.
Step 2. Meet the judges in your district
In addition to having a complete and well-written application, the best thing you can do to increase your chances of obtaining the judiciary is to meet the judges. They will be more supportive of a candidate they know and respect.
- Keep showing up in court so the judges get used to your presence. Discuss proposals and judge cases as much as you can.
- Attend conferences, meetings, and other events where you have the opportunity to speak with the judges in person.
- Support other people to support you. Don't expect to win people's support without working hard to help them succeed as well.
Step 3. Win an election
Depending on the judiciary you are looking for, you will have to be chosen, rather than assigned to the job. In some cases, you could win a temporary assignment on the condition that you fight for the position in the future. In either case, you must act as part of a political party or campaign to get or keep the position.
- Be sociable. Being a candidate for a judicial office is like doing it for the other political offices, you must have an attractive public profile that makes people vote for you.
- Gather money. All campaigns involve raising enough money for you to be a viable contender. It is not easy to do, but it is absolutely necessary.
Step 4. Complete the necessary training
Once you have been elected or appointed, you will need to complete certain introductory training programs or seminars before you begin practicing as a judge. Practitioners can participate in court trials, review legal publications, and complete exercises online. The workouts could last the entire race to make sure you are informed about the latest changes in the laws.