What Do Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates Do?
Judges and magistrates have duties both inside and outside of the courtroom. Inside the courtroom judges hear both prosecuting and defending cases for individuals accused of a crime, listen to witnesses and expert testimony and rule on whether evidence may be heard in court. They are also tasked with keeping order and making sure that the arguments of attorneys fall within the boundaries of what is permissible in court. Judges also ensure that accused individuals know their rights, and they may issue sentences in some cases. Outside of the courtroom, supervise law clerks, research cases, and establish court rules. They may also issue marriage licenses and perform marriage ceremonies.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates Skills and Abilities
Judges need to be highly skilled in logical reasoning and have good critical thinking skills. They must have good listening and reading comprehension, and the ability to process a lot of information and draw reasonable conclusions from it. Judges should also be good speakers, with the ability to speak clearly and concisely on a variety of topics so people of varying levels of education can understand.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates Duties
Judges read documents and review evidence related to court cases. Once this is done, they rule on whether evidence is admissible in specific cases. They must also keep up on developments in the field of law and criminal justice and incorporate these changes into their courtroom and they way they administer justice. They provide rulings and award damages in civil court cases, and in criminal cases they provide guidance to the jury and ensure that they have the necessary tools to perform their duties.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates Tools and Technology
Judges and magistrates should know how to use common types of office machines and basic software. They should be familiar with a method for organizing documents, preferably in digital form, such as Adobe Reader or other database software. Since many pieces of evidence may come to the judge in the form of a video or audio tape, judges should also be familiar with media players. Finally, research software such as LexisNexis is essential for judges and magistrates.
Education and Training for Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Judges are generally required to have a doctoral degree. Many have legal degrees, but this is not a requirement for the profession. Judges are also required to have significant experience in a related field. Most work as a lawyer, law clerk or similar job for at least five years before becoming a judge. There is also a short period of on-the-job training when a judge is first appointed to his or her position.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates Salary
Judges are quite well paid. Their average yearly salary is around $115,000 per year. A number of judges make over $150,000 in a year. However, it should be noted that this salary usually comes with long hours, especially when the judge is working one or more major cases.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates Jobs by Geography
There are jobs for judges all over the country. More populated areas have a bigger need for judges as there are more courts in those locals. The demand for judges remains relatively steady, neither going up nor going down significantly.