Judges, Magistrate Judges, & Magistrates
Also called: District Court Judge, Judge, Magistrate, Superior Court Judge
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:Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
On the job, you would:
- Read documents on pleadings and motions to ascertain facts and issues.
- Rule on admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony.
- Instruct juries on applicable laws, direct juries to deduce the facts from the evidence presented, and hear their verdicts.
Safety and Government
- law and government
- public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- 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
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- listen and understand what people say
- read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
- use rules to solve problems
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- remember words, numbers, pictures, or steps
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Concern for Others
- Self Control
You might use software like this on the job:
Information retrieval or search software
- Thomson Reuters WestLaw
Electronic mail software
- Email software