Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates

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Also known as:  Administrative Court Justice, Circuit Court Judge, County Court Judge, Criminal Court Judge, District Court Judge, Jurist, Justice, Probate Judge, Trial Court Judge, Tribal Judge

ABOUT JUDGE, MAGISTRATE JUDGE, OR MAGISTRATE CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
One of the foundations of our country is our judicial system. Judges and magistrates are charged with making sure the system operates in accordance with the law. Most of us think of the judge as the person who keeps order in a courtroom by occasionally banging a gavel.

But judges play a far ...
more important role. In overseeing legal proceedings, they act like referees, ensuring that the rules are followed. They also issue decisions and hand down sentences. Depending on their position, judges and magistrates might specialize in a particular area, such as family, civil or criminal law.

Sometimes called justices of the peace, magistrates can perform wedding ceremonies, and handle cases dealing with traffic violations, misdemeanors, small claims cases, and pre-trial hearings. They generally have at least a bachelor's degree. Judges are appointed or elected, and almost always have law degrees, and experience in the kind of courtroom they will oversee.

Without judges and magistrates, we would probably lose one of our most cherished rights - the right to a fair trial.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Provide information regarding the judicial system or other legal issues through the media and public speeches.
Impose restrictions upon parties in civil cases until trials can be held.
Award compensation for damages to litigants in civil cases in relation to findings by juries or by the court.
Research legal issues and write opinions on the issues.
Write decisions on cases.
Monitor proceedings to ensure that all applicable rules and procedures are followed.
Preside over hearings and listen to allegations made by plaintiffs to determine whether the evidence supports the charges.
Rule on admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony.
Settle disputes between opposing attorneys.
Interpret and enforce rules of procedure or establish new rules in situations where there are no procedures already established by law.
Advise attorneys, juries, litigants, and court personnel regarding conduct, issues, and proceedings.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
TOP SKILLS Expand
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
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