A judge is a person who leads trials and ensures that the results are fair. Judges decide which cases go to trial, inform juries about the law, and make decisions about what lawyers can do based on the law. In criminal cases, the judge makes the decision of if a convicted defendant will go to prison and the duration of their term there. In civil cases, the judge decides the amount of money that one of the parties must pay the other. Becoming a judge is a long career path that must be worked on diligently. For most judges, that path starts in high school.

In high school, future judges should take extra English classes. These classes will help them perfect their writing skills and teach them effective research skills. Extra social studies classes are also a great asset for future judges, as students in these classes learn about the law. High school students who aim to become judges should study well and sharpen their reading skills.

After high school, a future judge must go to college. Prospective judges at this stage of their education are required to earn a bachelor’s degree, usually majoring in English, criminal justice, political science, history, or psychology. Since there is no major that is specifically pre-law, students hoping to enter law school may earn any bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. These students can then move on to law school, where they will study for about three years.

Judging is a lonely job in which a man is, as near as may be, an island entire.

Abe Fortas

After graduating from law school, most judges work as lawyers. For those hoping to become a Federal or State judge, experience working as a lawyer is usually a requirement. Training for new judges is available in all states. Even once someone becomes a judge, their education doesn’t stop there. Judges continue their education throughout their careers, taking short classes in the law periodically. A judge conducts research about legal issues and writes about their decisions and their legal opinions. For judges, learning more about the law is a lifelong pursuit.

A person looking into becoming a judge should have a strong mind and a good memory for the law. They should be patient and have good judgment. A future judge must be willing to make a commitment to learning. They should enjoy research and writing about the law. For those with ambition and the willingness to be dedicated to upholding the law in a courtroom, becoming a judge would be an excellent choice.