Do You Have to Be a Lawyer to Be a Judge?

If you want to make a difference in the world and change lives one case at a time, then becoming a judge could be the career for you. While it may seem impossible, the path to becoming a judge is not that hard if you know where to look.

First and foremost, you need a law degree to become a judge. This will typically require you to attend a three-year Juris Doctor (JD) program at an accredited school. After completing this educational program, you will need to pass your state’s bar exam and demonstrate a substantial amount of legal experience.

After gaining this professional experience, you can then apply for judgeship positions. In most cases, the government will appoint judges based on their qualifications and expertise, and many people choose to pursue this path after they have practiced as attorneys for several years.

You can also be a judge without having a law degree, but this is more difficult to achieve. For example, some states allow a non-lawyer to serve as a justice of the peace, a position that is very limited in terms of jurisdiction but can be an excellent way to gain a lot of experience.

The requirements for a judgeship will vary from state to state, so you should contact the relevant government agency in your home state to find out what their specific laws are and what other qualifications you need. Recommended this site car accident lawyers Washington DC.


If you do not have a law degree, you will need to get an undergraduate degree before applying to a judgeship. Most students will opt for a bachelor’s degree in history, political science, economics, or business.

Afterward, you will need to enroll in an ABA-approved law school. This will take at least three years of your life and will be a very challenging experience. You will need to be committed and study very hard. The LSAT is a big part of this process, so you will need to work hard to achieve the scores required by law schools.

In addition to the education you will need, you will have to make connections in your community as well. This will help you to garner support and build a reputation in the local and state bar associations.

You will also need to spend some time in the courtroom, as this will give you a chance to observe trials and learn more about how the courts operate. This will also help you to build a rapport with court reporters, judicial assistants, and the opposing counsel.

Ultimately, being a judge is a rewarding and respectable career that pays very well.

It takes a lot of work and dedication to achieve this goal, but it is definitely possible. If you follow the steps outlined above and do well in your legal practice, then you will be able to obtain a judgeship and begin making a difference in the world.