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Home / Academics / Careers / Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates Career

Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates Career

Career Description

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.

What Job Titles Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates Might Have

  • District Court Judge
  • Judge
  • Magistrate
  • Superior Court Judge

What Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates Do

  • 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.
  • Award compensation for damages to litigants in civil cases in relation to findings by juries or by the court.
  • Monitor proceedings to ensure that all applicable rules and procedures are followed.
  • Preside over hearings and listen to allegations made by plaintiffs to determine whether the evidence supports the charges.
  • Research legal issues and write opinions on the issues.
  • Write decisions on cases.
  • Advise attorneys, juries, litigants, and court personnel regarding conduct, issues, and proceedings.
  • Interpret and enforce rules of procedure or establish new rules in situations where there are no procedures already established by law.
  • Settle disputes between opposing attorneys.
  • Impose restrictions upon parties in civil cases until trials can be held.
  • Provide information regarding the judicial system or other legal issues through the media and public speeches.
  • Rule on custody and access disputes, and enforce court orders regarding custody and support of children.
  • Sentence defendants in criminal cases, on conviction by jury, according to applicable government statutes.
  • Grant divorces and divide assets between spouses.
  • Participate in judicial tribunals to help resolve disputes.
  • Conduct preliminary hearings to decide issues such as whether there is reasonable and probable cause to hold defendants in felony cases.
  • Supervise other judges, court officers, and the court's administrative staff.

What Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates Should Be Good At

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates Should Be Interested In

What Judges, Magistrate Judges and Magistrates Need to Learn

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $125,880

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.