A judicial worker is classified as someone that works as some form of a judge in a court system. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists magistrate judges, judges, and magistrates as people that fall into this category. There is a significant range of salaries that accompany this kind of employment. The upper 10 percent of judicial workers earn over $162,240, a large sum of money by any standards. The lowest earners make only $32,290, a major drop from top earners, which brings the median wage to about $110,220.*
Other occupations that fall under the category of judicial worker are conciliators, arbitrators, and mediators. Some judicial jobs were particularly well-paying, such as a U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice that earns over $217,000 a year. The amount earned by judges typically depends on their title and the pay that the local, federal, or state government sets for the position, which can vary.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Benefits such as almost untouchable job security and health and insurance benefits make a job as a judicial worker rewarding all the way around. Paid leave and vacation time are perks too.
Job Description and Outlook
State court judges receive cases that are smaller than those heard by federal judges. A state judge will often handle cases that deal with traffic violations, small-claims, and misdemeanors. These smaller cases are still an extremely important part of the justice system and help to keep the most important cases reserved for federal judges. There are times when a state judge handles cases that deal with contracts, probate, and domestic violence allegations, as well as drug violations.
Administrative judge handle matters that involve hearings. They are employed by the government to handle such matters as Social Security hearings, Occupational & Safety health administration requirements, and these judges can also serve as arbitrators and mediators in other matters. Keep in mind that arbitrators and conciliators aren’t consider judges when they operare outside of a court setting.
Federal judges frequently hear cases that have been appealed after judgments handed down by lower courts. When they have jurisdiction, these judges function as appellate court judges and can overrule decisions made by lower court circuits. This helps to correct legal errors that might have been made in lower court proceedings and gives people more time to explain their case. Appellate court judges don’t usually interact with any litigates.
Training and Education Requirements
Non-lawyers have made some strides in recent years at being appointed to some positions that are similar to judiciary work. Forty states have limited-jurisdiction judgeships available to non-lawyers. Despite the fact that these positions can exist, nothing replaces experience with the law as a prerequisite to assuming a role as judge.
Federal and State judges must be lawyers. There is an examination administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that must be passed by anyone that wants to hold the position of Federal administrative judge. Almost every judge that takes office will have had some experience as a lawyer, as the very minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree and law experience. There are some judges that are elected into office.
When a judge is appointed, he must go through an orientation to mark it. The National Center for State Courts, American Bar Association, National Judicial College, and Federal Judicial Center all offer judicial education and training for judges that are planning to take office or have already taken office. The courses offered last for as many as three weeks.
For mediators, the education requirements are different. They’re usually required to complete forty hours of basic training courses and a day long advanced course before assuming their duties.
Mediators, judge, and arbitrators exist to give people the fairness and justice that they expect from the court system. The amount of training that is received directly affects the quality of justice and so judges are expected to be highly qualified and knowledgeable about the law.
Continuing education is a large part of maintaining the role of a judicial worker. Everyday on the job is a new experience, as new cases are encountered and new laws are learned and researched. Conciliators, mediators, and arbitrators aren’t expected to be nationally licensed. Judges are expected to take courses that are required of them by their specific jurisdiction. All certifications will vary by jurisdiction, as each level of local, state, and federal government expects different levels of expertise by their judges and other judicial workers.
A long list of professional organizations exist for judges that want to continue to learn more about their craft and share their experiences with other judges. Some of the most popular professional organizations that judges join include The American Bar Association, Alliance for Justice, The American Judicature Society, The National Center for State Courts, The American Law Institute, and The American Arbitration Association. This is only a brief list of the organizations that exist to feed the interests and needs of judges across the country. There are literally hundreds more organizations that can and should be investigated by judges eager to get the most out of their jobs and to give people the justice they deserve.