- by Net Pro Referral
- 02 May 2018
What Makes a Lawyer Suitable to Become a Judge
Building a career in the legal field is filled with challenges. Being a lawyer or an attorney and then a judge is a journey worth living.
Although all the lawyers at one time or the other must aspire to become a judge, only a few of them goes on to become one. Becoming a lawyer or an attorney is tough and challenging but becoming a judge is even more so. Let’s find out some basic factors as to what makes a lawyer suitable to become a judge and can you be a judge without a law degree?
First thing first, judges’ recruitment process varies from state to state and at the federal level. But almost all the states require the judges to have law degree and experience in handling legal cases. But there are some states where having law degrees is not required but even after that most of the judges in those states do have legal degrees and experience as a lawyer or an attorney.
In the states where you can become a judge without a law degree, a special certification course is required and the recruitment is done through a voting system. But the process of recruiting non-lawyer judges is highly criticized by many.
So, for now, let’s focus on what makes you, who is already a licensed legal practitioner, suitable to become a lawyer.
Experience and Skills
In most cases, the judges are recruited on the merit-based system where their legal knowledge, skills, and experiences are evaluated by a judicial nominating commission. Apart from having law degrees and legal certification, you must demonstrate your legal skills through at least five years as a legal practitioner to approach the position of becoming a judge confidently.
Apart from strong knowledge of the law and legal skills, a judge must possess strong interpersonal skills. As a judge, you must have such a persona and attitude that would allow you to preside over a court hearing and control the court hearing smoothly. There will be complex cases you will have to handle as a lawyer where both sides will be emotionally charged. In those instances, you will have to be able to sooth all sides and deliver your verdict fairly in such a manner that all the sides will accept it respectfully without question. Such an aura of omniscience you must master. Judicial nominating commission always tries to make it sure that you have strong interpersonal skills by amassing reviews from the lawyers you worked with being on the opposite side.
As a judge, one must be aware of any personal biases or prejudices that may stand in the way of doing proper justice to a case. So, self-awareness is of crucial importance. Judges’ decisions have life-changing or often life-saving consequences for many. So, any bias can cause great damage to the undeserving or the deserving. So, a judge must be aware to recognize whenever such biases come into play; be it in themselves or the lawyers fighting for their case.
As a lawyer aspiring to a judge, you must remember that judges hold great power and with great power comes great responsibility. Though it may sound a bit cliché, it is true nonetheless. So, it is you, who have to be fully sure of yourself before applying for becoming a judge.