Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, & Hearing Officers
Also called: Administrative Hearing Officer, Administrative Judge, Administrative Law Judge, Hearing Officer
Produced by CareerOneStop
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One of our most important rights —the right to a fair trial— rests on the shoulders of judges and hearing officers. They conduct pretrial hearings, resolve administrative disputes, facilitate negotiations between opposing parties, and issue legal decisions. Judges hear cases that range from traffic offenses to the rights of large corporations. Before a trial, they often review documents, research legal issues, and listen to arguments to determine if a trial is warranted. Depending on the case, judges either instruct jurors on the law and guide them in considering evidence, or decide the case directly, determining whether a sentence or penalty is justified. Critically, they ensure fair proceedings so that the legal rights of all involved parties are protected. Administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers operate outside the courts— they work for government agencies, on issues such as determining eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits or verifying a case of employment discrimination. Judges and hearing officers work for state, local, and federal governments. Hours are full time, sometimes with evening and weekend hours, and on-call duty for emergencies. Although a few positions require only a bachelor’s degree… a law degree, license, and years of work experience as a lawyer are typically required for judges or hearing officers. Some positions are elected… others are appointed… for terms lasting from 4 years to life.
What they do:Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
On the job, you would:
- Prepare written opinions and decisions.
- Monitor and direct the activities of trials and hearings to ensure that they are conducted fairly and that courts administer justice while safeguarding the legal rights of all involved parties.
- Determine existence and amount of liability according to current laws, administrative and judicial precedents, and available evidence.
Safety and Government
- law and government
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- customer service
- administrative services
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- reading work related information
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- listen and understand what people say
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- use rules to solve problems
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Self Control
- Attention to Detail
- Analytical Thinking
- Stress Tolerance
You might use software like this on the job:
Information retrieval or search software
- Thomson Reuters WestLaw
Electronic mail software
- Email software