A judge presides over a courtroom, hearing evidence, making decisions on motions, instructing juries and making rulings. The judge is responsible for assuring the law is followed and carried out in every case. Judges also read through court documents and may research legal issues.
In a judge job description, it should be clear that legal experience is required. Judges need to be fair and reasonable with an expert knowledge of the law. They should be able to maintain order in the courtroom and work with a variety of personnel to ensure each case is handled correctly.
It is important that a judge is a non-partial party in any case on which he or she is deciding so as not to allow emotions, relationships or other outside factors influence the final decision. As you create your judge job description, you can use the following example for insight into what to include.
Judge Job Summary
Erie County is looking for a judge to take over after the Honorable Judge Carl P. Rogan’s retirement. You would preside over the county court and be responsible for hearing criminal and civil cases. If you are passionate about the law and want to see justice done, then we need you on the bench. We have a nice mixture of cases, so your work will never feel redundant, and you can put your knowledge of various areas of the law to use every day. We strive for a teamwork-focused environment where you will receive support from the administrative staff and the county legal staff as needed. We are hoping this will be a long-term relationship, as Judge Rogan was with us for his whole judicial career.
- Read through legal documents to make determinations about pre-trial issues, motions and final rulings
- Assist with monitoring jury selection, along with instructing the jury and managing them during a trial
- Listen to arguments from plaintiffs and defendants to determine the facts of a case and come to a ruling
- Ask questions of witnesses and legal counsel to make the right decisions regarding issues that may occur during a trial or hearing
- Meet with legal counsel to discuss and decide upon objections, pretrial motions, evidence and discovery issues
- Determine proper sentencing, monetary fees and damages to be paid upon the completion of a case and hand down the ruling in the courtroom to the responsible party
- Monitor court proceedings to ensure all legal procedures are handled according to the law and make decisions regarding gray area issues, such as the use of cameras in the courtroom
- Write opinions and conduct legal research as needed to reach determinations or create written documents
Job Skills & Qualifications
- At least five years of experience practicing law
- Member in good standing of the state bar association
- No relationship to anyone in the county legal department
- Good moral character
- Proven record of pursuing justice under the law
- Background in criminal law
Judge Job Responsibilities
Increase the odds of finding just the right judge for your position by crafting a well-written judge job description. Do you need a generalist or a specialist? Are you hiring for family court, juvenile court or criminal court? The answers to these questions will determine what goes into the job responsibilities section of your posting. Be clear about what you really need in your future judge, so the jobseeker can accurately determine if he or she is a good fit for the role.
As you compose your judge job responsibilities, be as specific as possible. Your judge job description should be easily and quickly understood. Use bullets to list the various required tasks, and write brief, concise statements. Keep this portion manageable by including only core responsibilities, rather than a laundry list of everything your new hire might ever do for you. 6-8 bullet points is a good number to shoot for. If your list gets much longer than this, prospects might not bother to read it.
As you create the job responsibilities section of your posting, consider incorporating some of these suggested examples:
- Conduct fair hearings
- Provide timely decisions
- Keep an accurate hearing record
- Preside and rule on hearing matters
- Provide counsel in stressful situations
- Analyze legal problems and apply legal principles
Judge Job Specifications
Determining the skills that you need from your new hire is an important matter that deserves careful attention, especially since appointing someone to a judgeship places that person in such an influential role. Consider what kind of required background and experience to include in the job qualifications and skills section of your judge job description. Talk to your hiring manager and get as much input as you can about which qualifications are non-negotiable and which are simply preferable.
Use bullets to organize your requirements into a list, and arrange them in descending order of importance. Think about all aspects of the position, and include such items as computer skills, personal qualities, adaptability and flexibility, where appropriate, but keep the list short and to-the-point for easy browsing.
This portion of the judge job description is your opportunity to separate the serious candidates from the underqualified and save yourself time in the interview process. Jobseekers will appreciate your candor here, as they will be able to easily determine if they have what it takes to fill the position.
Here are some sample bullet points you can use for your judge job specifications:
- Juris Doctor degree and 5 years’ experience
- Active membership in state bar association
- Proven success in demonstrating honesty and integrity
- High stress tolerance
- Ability to maintain composure in challenging situations
- Ability to learn new technology