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Judge/Magistrate  What They Do

Just the Facts


Arbitrates, advises, adjudicates, or administers 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.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster Legal Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Reads documents on pleadings and motions to ascertain facts and issues.
  • Rules on the admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony.
  • Instructs juries on applicable laws, directs juries to deduce the facts from the evidence presented, and hears their verdicts.
  • Awards compensation for damages to litigants in civil cases in relation to findings by juries or by the court.
  • Monitors proceedings to make sure all applicable rules and procedures are followed.
  • Presides over hearings and listens to allegations made by plaintiffs to determine whether the evidence supports the charges.
  • Researches legal issues and writes opinions on the issues.
  • Writes decisions on cases.
  • Advises attorneys, juries, litigants, and court personnel regarding conduct, issues, and proceedings.
  • Interprets and enforces rules of procedure or establishes new rules in situations where there are no procedures already established by law.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Justice of the Peace -- Administers oaths, issues subpoenas, summonses and warrants and performs other court-related duties such as conducting bail hearings.
  • Juvenile Court Judge -- Typically hear cases involving minors accused of crimes and are responsible for ensuring that not only is justice carried out, and the interests of the state are served, but that the case is handled appropriately in light of the defendant's age.
  • Superior Court Judge -- Deals mostly with civil and criminal cases with sitting juries who decide the factual aspects of a case.
  • Tribal Judge -- Adjudicates cases in tribal courts that are established on First Nations reservations.
  • Circuit Court Judge --
  • Deputy Chief Magistrate --