Judge Occupation Power Point What they do… Preside over criminal and civil trials and hearings, monitoring proceedings to ensure that all rules and procedures are being followed. Rule on the admissibility of evidence, listen to testimony of witnesses, and sometimes settle disputes between opposing attorneys. Decide guilt or innocence in criminal cases or liability and compensation in civil cases, when the law does not require a jury trial. Research legal issues and write opinions on the issues; read documents on pleadings and motions. Conduct pretrial hearings to decide if the evidence presented warrants a trial. Knowledge… They must have knowledge of laws and legal codes. They must have knowledge of criminal and civil trial and hearing procedures. They must have knowledge of up-to-date legal issues. Skills… They must have the ability to interpret laws and weigh evidence to determine guilt or innocence. They must be able to communicate effectively with attorneys and jury members. They must be able to maintain order and efficiency during hearings or trial proceedings. Tools they use… Law books for research on particular laws and trial procedures. Deductive reasoning for applying general laws and concepts to specific situations and people. Gavel, for occasional use in maintaining order in the courtroom. Working conditions… Judges do most of their work in offices, law libraries, or courtrooms. They wear robes while in the courtroom. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, but about a third work more than 50 hours. Judges who preside over small-claims or family courts may work evening hours. Training required… Local judges must have, at the minimum, a 4-year degree and work experience; however, law degrees are preferred and lead to better opportunities. Federal and State judges must have a law degree in addition to a bachelor’s degree. Judges are either elected or appointed and must attend whatever orientation is required by their state. More than half of all states require judges to take continuing education courses while serving on the bench. Who they work for… Local government - justices of the peace, magistrates, county court judges, or municipal court judges (smaller jurisdiction) State government – General state trial court judges, Appellate court judges (jurisdiction within their state) Federal government – Supreme Court judges, Federal general trial court judges, Federal Appellate court judges (largest jurisdiction – United States) Income… Judges hold about 27,000 jobs in this country. Average income is about $107,230 per year. Projected growth is expected to be about 3-6 percent in the next ten years, which is slower than average. This is due to the budgetary pressures on the government. However, as the economy grows, immigration increases, and citizens are more willing to take their disputes to court, the demand for judges is expected to rise.