When hearings and trials occur in all types of courts they are overseen by a judge. Judges work in local county state and federal courts where they preside over criminal and civil cases of all types. Not only do they oversee highly publicized criminal trials but they also rule on matters brought before them in small claims court and traffic court. They are responsible for conducting hearings prior to actual trials and they are also responsible for determining verdicts as well as administering the sentencing phase for those found guilty. In trials that have juries judges must provide instructions and information related to applicable laws. The most important qualities that judges must possess include the ability to be impartial to uphold the law to establish rules and to ensure that everything in their courtroom is controlled in a fair manner. Besides presiding over trials and hearings judges are also responsible for keeping updated on legal briefs writing opinions conducting legal research and meeting with attorneys regarding various matters. They also oversee the individuals who work in their chambers which include legal secretaries clerks and other clerical personnel. In order to become a judge it is first necessary to obtain a bachelor’s degree and then graduate from an accredited law school. There are some instances where judges do not need law degrees – such as some working as administrative law judges. However the majority of judges must be licensed attorneys who have several years of experience working as lawyers. According to careers.stateuniversity.com the two ways to become a judge are either to be appointed or elected to the position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the salary range for judges is $32290 to $212100 per year. Higher salaried judges work in the federal court system and preside over complex and high-profile cases.

Education Required: Doctoral Degree
Avg Salary: $122195
High Salary: $212100
Low Salary: $32290
Tasks: Presides over hearings and trials.
Determines case verdicts.
Instructs juries.
Writes legal opinions.
Also Called: Court Judge
Administrative Law Judge
Appellate Judge
Municipal Court Judge
Additional Resources: http://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/720/Judge.html