How Long Do You Have To Be A Lawyer To Be A Judge?

Becoming a judge is a long and challenging career path for any lawyer. While judges are expected to have an in-depth knowledge of the law, they must also demonstrate the skills, temperament and impartiality necessary to preside over cases. The qualifications and requirements for becoming a judge vary from country to country, and from state to state, but in most cases a lawyer is required to have significant legal experience before they can be appointed.

To become a judge, a lawyer must first study for a law degree and pass the state bar exam. After gaining admission to the bar, a lawyer must typically have at least five to seven years of experience working as a lawyer before they can be considered for a judgeship. The amount of experience will depend on the level of court: some states require a much higher level of experience for higher level courts. In some jurisdictions, there may be additional requirements, such as teaching or writing experience, or a certain number of years in a judicial clerkship.

The Advantages of Becoming a Judge

Being a judge is a prestigious profession that comes with many advantages. Judges have the opportunity to shape society by interpreting and applying the law, and to shape the lives of individual litigants who come before them. Judges also have the power to affect change at a higher level by authoring decisions that can serve to change the law.

1. Judicial Prestige: Judges command respect and enjoy a higher level of prestige from their peers and the public. They are recipients of public trust and derive authority from the law.

2. Independence: Judges are independent from other branches of government, and are free to make decisions without external interference. They can be their own person, and are expected to remain impartial in their rulings.

3. Professional Satisfaction: Judges often feel a great sense of satisfaction when they are able to make decisions that improve society or benefit an individual litigant. Decisions made by judges often have a lasting impact on the individuals and families they serve.


Becoming a judge is a long and difficult process, but the rewards can be great. Judges have the authority to shape society, and to make decisions that can alter the course of history. The experience and qualifications required to become a judge vary, but in most cases a lawyer must have a law degree, pass the bar exam and have several years of experience practicing law before they can be considered for a judgeship.

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