Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Circuit Court Judge, Circuit Judge, County Judge, Court of Appeals Judge, District Court Judge, Judge, Justice of the Peace, Magisterial District Judge, Magistrate, Superior Court Judge
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Sentence defendants in criminal cases, on conviction by jury, according to applicable government statutes.
- Monitor proceedings to ensure that all applicable rules and procedures are followed.
- Instruct juries on applicable laws, direct juries to deduce the facts from the evidence presented, and hear their verdicts.
- Write decisions on cases.
- Read documents on pleadings and motions to ascertain facts and issues.
- Rule on admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony.
- Preside over hearings and listen to allegations made by plaintiffs to determine whether the evidence supports the charges.
- Award compensation for damages to litigants in civil cases in relation to findings by juries or by the court.
- Advise attorneys, juries, litigants, and court personnel regarding conduct, issues, and proceedings.
- Research legal issues and write opinions on the issues.
- Interpret and enforce rules of procedure or establish new rules in situations where there are no procedures already established by law.
- Issue arrest warrants.
- Settle disputes between opposing attorneys.
- Impose restrictions upon parties in civil cases until trials can be held.
- Supervise other judges, court officers, and the court’s administrative staff.
- Rule on custody and access disputes, and enforce court orders regarding custody and support of children.
- Conduct preliminary hearings to decide issues, such as whether there is reasonable and probable cause to hold defendants in felony cases.
- Grant divorces and divide assets between spouses.
- Participate in judicial tribunals to help resolve disputes.
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- Data base user interface and query software — Online databases
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Hyland OnBase Enterprise Content Management
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis; Thomson Reuters Westlaw
- Instant messaging software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Legal management software — Courtroom scheduling software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft operating system
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video conferencing software — Videoconferencing software
- Web page creation and editing software — LinkedIn
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
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- 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.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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 that there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- 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.
- 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.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Make decisions in legal cases.
- Direct courtroom activities or procedures.
- Conduct hearings to investigate legal issues.
- Prepare written decisions for legal proceedings.
- Research relevant legal materials to aid decision making.
- Identify implications for cases from legal precedents or other legal information.
- Rule on admissibility of legal proceedings.
- Authorize payments to settle legal disputes.
- Arbitrate disputes between parties to resolve legal conflicts.
- Serve court ordered documents.
- Supervise activities of other legal personnel.
- Inform the public about policies, services or procedures.
- Administer oaths to court participants.
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- Freedom to Make Decisions — 100% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 91% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 89% responded “Very important results.”
- Electronic Mail — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 79% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 75% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 80% responded “Extremely important.”
- Time Pressure — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 78% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Deal With External Customers — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Public Speaking — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Consequence of Error — 35% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Physical Proximity — 50% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Very important.”
- Level of Competition — 35% responded “Not at all competitive.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: ES Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$67.83 hourly, $141,080 annual|
|Employment (2020)||29,400 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Slower than average (1% to 5%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||1,500|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Bar Association
- American Inns of Court
- American Judges Association
- National Association of Drug Court Professionals
- National Association of Women Judges
- National Bar Association
- National Center for State Courts
- National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
- National Judges Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Judges and hearing officers
- The National Judicial College
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