Table of Contents
- Qualifications to Become a Judge
- Do You Have to Be a Lawyer to Be a Judge?
- The Difference Between a Lawyer and a Judge
- Youngest Judge
The qualifications to become a judge vary depending on the state or country, but generally include the following:
- An undergraduate degree
- A Juris Doctor degree
- Being licensed to practice law
- Having some experience as a lawyer
- Taking a bar exam
- Passing a background check
In some states, such as New York, you must be a lawyer to become a judge. This is because New York has adopted the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which requires that judges be lawyers.
In other states, such as Florida, you do not have to be a lawyer to be a judge. Florida’s Constitution and laws explicitly permit a person who is not a lawyer to become a judge.
The primary difference between a lawyer and a judge is that a lawyer represents clients in court, while a judge hears the arguments of lawyers and makes rulings in court. Lawyers may engage in litigation, research and writing, while judges typically only preside over cases.
Lawyers typically work in private practice, while judges are appointed by the government. Lawyers also may specialize in different areas of the law, while judges do not usually specialize in any particular area.
The youngest judge in the United States is Johnathon Kubben, who was appointed to the bench in Michigan at the age of 25. Kubben has a Juris Doctor degree from the Detroit College of Law, is a member of the Michigan Bar and is licensed to practice law in the state.