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How to become a Judge

avg. starting salary

Time for a new career? You be the Judge… Judges preside over court cases, and act to protect the rights of those on trial. It is their job to keep order, ensuring that all trials are conducted fairly and adhere to established rules and procedures. They could work in a Crown Court, ensuring the jury is aware of its legal role when coming to their decision, in civil cases without juries, making the call on whether someone is guilty or innocent, or in family cases, helping family units get over disputes. The role played by a judge will differ depending on the type of case. However, typical duties may include:
  • Presiding over legal hearings
  • Hearing evidence
  • Deciding whether procedures adhere to the law
  • Granting adjournments, and encouraging co-operation in their courtroom
  • Issuing sentences for guilty parties

To become a Judge, it almost goes without saying that you need to know law, inside out. Judges must remain impartial and objective throughout proceedings, never losing sight of the job at hand. Even if some decisions they make may be unpopular with the public, or come with some degree of political or media pressure. Being able to control their emotions, and also control an emotional courtroom during difficult situations, are also vital in order to become a successful judge. Other key attributes for a Judge include:
    • Good decision-making skills
    • Conscience
    • Moral courage
    • Self-awareness
    • Excellent communication skills



Up to £60,000

District Judge

Up to £80,000

High Judge

Up to £140,000

"I worked in law for around ten years, mostly as a barrister, before I was lucky enough to become a Judge. I predominantly preside over family cases, which include divorce or child support cases and custody disputes. They take place in the county court, and are much more informal than people often think. I don’t wear a wig and robe like you see on TV, which means everyone is much more comfortable, especially helpful for sensitive subjects. It can be stressful, but always striving to do the right thing and see justice done is worth all of the effort."

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