“I love being a judge, and I anticipate being a judge for the rest of my life.”

Charles T. Canady, Judge

Pros and Cons of Working as a Judge

advantages and disadvantages of being a judge

You want to become a judge? Great!

However, before you actually go for it, make sure to check out all the pros and cons of being a judge in this article.

Only then will you be able to get a more profound picture of what working as a judge really looks like and whether you still want to become a judge or not.

Judge Job Profile

Job DescriptionJudges act as referees between conflicting parties. They have to make the final decision regarding whether someone is guilty or not to solve legal disputes and to assure justice.
Salary$210,000 per year on average, most judges make between $180,000 – $270,000 per year.
Job SecurityGood job security for judges.
Job SatisfactionRather poor since you will often be insulted by people and also have to deal with high levels of pressure.
Work-Life BalanceDecent work-life balance since you will often have free weekends and holidays as a judge.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Mentally and emotionally demanding work.
Future OutlookGood since there will always be conflicts between people and judges will always be needed.
RequirementsCollege education and extensive practical experience needed for a career as a judge.

Advantages of Being a Judge

  1. Judges have high levels of responsibility and power
  2. You can make our world a little bit fairer
  3. Working as a judge can be exciting
  4. Chances are that you will never get bored as a judge
  5. Judges have a pretty high standing in society
  6. You can earn really good money as a judge
  7. Judges don’t have to work on weekends or holidays
  8. You don’t have to work at nighttime
  9. Decent work-life balance
  10. Judges may be able to change sides
  11. Easy to find a partner
  12. You have many people who will assist you
  13. Judges don’t have to work outdoors
  14. Decent job security as a judge
  15. You can save enough money for retirement to avoid old-age poverty

Judges have high levels of responsibility and power

One advantage of being a judge is that you will have a high level of power in your job.

It is on you to decide whether someone gets punished or not.

Sure, in most lawsuits, there are many people involved in the final decision.

Yet, you will still have an important say in the final verdict.

This can not only make you feel to be quite important, but it can also assure that you can make a real positive change for many people on a daily basis since you can send people to jail who really deserve it and protect their victims from potential unpleasant surprises in the future.

You can make our world a little bit fairer

In general, you will also have the power to make the world fairer as a judge.

It will be in your hands to make a proper judgement of the situation and to punish people who broke the law.

This not only makes our streets safer in the short run, it can also lead to a more peaceful state of the world in the long run since people who went to jail often learn from their bad decisions and don’t repeat them.

Thus, becoming a judge can be more than just a job, it can give you real meaning since you will know that you do something important every time you wake up in the morning and go to work.

In turn, chances are that you will stay motivated throughout your career and while many people in other jobs will become quite frustrated over time, you will be the one full of energy who can’t wait to make the world a little bit fairer every day.

Working as a judge can be exciting

You will also experience many new things throughout your career as a judge.

Especially in your first years, you will learn quite a lot and you will often be pretty excited to go to work since you will never know what to expect.

In fact, no day will look the same since people are just different and unpredictable and you will sometimes even wonder about what’s going on in there.

While these high levels of insecurity can be exhausting and mentally demanding, they also make your life as a judge interesting since you will never know what will happen in each individual case.

Chances are that you will never get bored as a judge

Another benefit of working as a judge is that you will probably never get bored.

Since you will meet many different people and work on numerous different cases throughout your career, time will just fly.

Hence, while other people who work in normal office jobs often look at the clock on a regular basis since they simply can’t wait for their workday to be over, you will often really enjoy your work since there will be always something unexpected and your workday will be over far sooner than expected.

Judges have a pretty high standing in society

Judges also enjoy a pretty high standing in society.

They are almost on the same level as doctors regarding social status and are highly appreciated in society.

In fact, we would have a big problem without judges since the world would just turn into anarchy and there would simply be a lack of fairness out there without someone in place who can objectively judge what’s going on and who should be punished.

Consequently, judges are quite important for a working society and many people will know that and greatly appreciate your work, at least if you don’t send them to prison 😉.

You can earn really good money as a judge

Another upside to becoming a judge is that you can make really good money from what you are doing.

In fact, many judges get wealthy or even rich in the long run since six-figure-salaries are the norm rather than the exception and many judges easily make $200,000 per year or even more.

Hence, you will likely not have to worry that much about money as a judge and will also be able to afford many nice toys due to that, including a fancy home and a nice car.

You will also be able to send your kids to good schools and colleges and will have a rather comfortable life when it comes to finances while many other people out there will have to worry about money problems.

Judges don’t have to work on weekends or holidays

As a judge, you will often also have a pretty standard workweek.

Most often, you will just work 9 to 5 and come home rather early. You will also not have to work on weekends and holidays and can really enjoy plenty of leisure.

While some other people have to work, you will be able to make nice trips or just enjoy your leisure in your garden.

You don’t have to work at nighttime

By becoming a judge, you can also avoid working at nighttime. You will just work during the day and will come home in time pretty often.

Thus, while bus drivers, waiters and many other people have to work in the nighttime, you can really enjoy your evening by meeting up with friends or watching your favorite TV show.

Decent work-life balance

In general, you will also have a pretty decent work-life balance as a judge.

Since you will not have to work on holidays or weekends and also don’t work that many extra hours, your life will be rather relaxed when it comes to the actual workload.

Sure, the path for becoming a judge can be pretty demanding since you will have to work long hours as a lawyer for a few years.

Yet, when you have finally made it, you will really be able to harvest the fruits of your labor and don’t have to work excessive hours anymore most of the time.

Judges may be able to change sides

In most states, you will also be free to change sides and to go back to your job as a lawyer if you don’t like to be a judge anymore.

You can also just quit your job as a judge and work in the corporate sector where you can also earn pretty decent money and can work a little bit differently.

Hence, you will always have the option to switch to different fields in case you no longer like what you do and this can give you peace of mind since you will always have the option to change your life in various different ways.

Easy to find a partner

Since judges have high social standing, power and also earn pretty good money, they will also have numerous different options when it comes to finding a partner.

In fact, you will almost have freedom of choice in the dating market and many potential partners will just line up for you since they all want to be part of your life.

Thus, while many people who don’t have these attributes struggle in the dating market, you will have a pretty easy time as a judge in this regard and having many mating options can really make your life easier and just better.

You have many people who will assist you

As a judge, you will also have many people around you who can do rather unpleasant tasks for you.

In fact, you will often be at the top of the pyramid and can delegate work you don’t like to other people.

You will also get support for various tasks in your professional life as a judge and can really focus on what matters.

This means that you can use your time as efficiently as possible and can really get things done.

Judges don’t have to work outdoors

While you might take this for granted since many people in our current state of the world work in office jobs, there are still many people out there who have to work outdoors under extreme weather conditions.

In contrast, as a judge, you can work indoors in a rather cozy environment, protected from the elements and you will have heating and air conditioning to make your working conditions even more convenient.

Decent job security as a judge

Judges also benefit from pretty high job security.

In fact, in many states, judges cannot be fired unless they make really big mistakes or even made wrong judgments intentionally.

This means that while many lawyers and also many other people have to fear losing their jobs in financial crisis situations, you will often be pretty safe as a judge and do not have to worry about being fired that much.

You can save enough money for retirement to avoid old-age poverty

Since you will have a pretty decent income as a judge, you will also be able to save plenty of money for retirement.

In turn, while many people in your current state of the world suffer from old-age poverty, you will be able to live rather comfortably and will not have to worry about money in your older years that much, at least if you invest your money wisely and don’t spend everything on things that you actually don’t need and that depreciate in value rather quickly.

Apart from the advantages of becoming a judge, there are still many issues related to this profession which I show you in the following chapters.

Disadvantages of Being a Judge

  1. You can destroy the lives of people with wrong decisions
  2. Some judges crack under the pressure
  3. You need long years of education for becoming a judge
  4. You need plenty of professional experience before becoming a judge
  5. Significant student loan debt is quite common
  6. You will be dependent on your parents for quite a long time
  7. You have to do plenty of paperwork
  8. People will insult you
  9. Some people may even threaten you
  10. Mental problems are not that uncommon for judges

You can destroy the lives of people with wrong decisions

One problem with being a judge is that you can potentially destroy the lives of many people with wrong decisions.

Nobody is perfect and you will make mistakes sooner or later in your career.

However, mistakes on your side can send people to jail for a pretty long time and if they are not guilty, this can really break these people and you will be the one who will be responsible for their misery.

Due to that, you will always go to work with a certain uncomfortable feeling and may also fear to make those critical mistakes.

Some judges crack under the pressure

Working as a judge also implies plenty of pressure.

People will often not be happy with your decision and will try to change it, no matter what.

You will often also not be entirely sure whether someone is really guilty or not and these high levels of uncertainty can really break you in the long run.

In fact, many judges can just not handle those levels of pressure and uncertainty in an emotionally healthy manner and become pretty exhausted and overwhelmed with their feelings in the long run, even though they might seem to be pretty tough from the outside.

You need long years of education for becoming a judge

Another downside to becoming a judge is that you just need many years of education.

Not only do you have to go to law school for an extensive period of time, but you also have to be pretty good and get good grades to keep your chances of becoming a judge alive.

In fact, many people who go to law school don’t meet the formal requirements for becoming a judge and have to work in different fields instead.

Hence, if you really want to become a judge, make sure that you work hard to get really good grades to keep your dream of a career as a judge alive.

You need plenty of professional experience before becoming a judge

Not only will you have to go to law school for many years to work as a judge, you also need plenty of practical experience.

In fact, many judges have worked as lawyers before for an extended period of time and becoming a judge without this prior practical experience is almost impossible.

Thus, make sure that you are willing to work long hours as a lawyer if you really want to become a judge in the long run and that you really have the drive to push through difficult periods that may lie ahead of you.

Significant student loan debt is quite common

Since law school is pretty expensive, many students who aspire to a career as a judge also have to take on large sums of student loan debt.

While student loans can make your life in college much easier since you do no longer have to worry about financial aspects anymore during this time, they can also pose significant problems for your future life since you will have to pay back these student loans sooner or later.

Hence, while many other people will already make really good money and can afford a fancy lifestyle, you will have to pay back your student debt for many years and you should really make sure that you are willing to make this huge financial commitment for your education.

You will be dependent on your parents for quite a long time

Another disadvantage of becoming a judge is that you will also be dependent on your parents for quite a long time.

Especially if you don’t want to take on excessive student loan debt, your parents will have to finance your degree and you may even stay at home while going to college to save money for rent.

All this prevents you from becoming independent and from standing on your own feet.

It can also be really frustrating to be dependent on your parents in your 20s or even 30s and you should ask yourself whether you really want to be willing to pay this price or not before deciding for a career as a judge.

You have to do plenty of paperwork

Many people also underestimate the amount of paperwork that comes along with working as a judge.

Sure, you will have some people who will assist you.

Yet, you will still do plenty of this work yourself and you will also spend many hours reading documents so that you really get a grip on what happened in each individual case in order to make a proper judgement regarding a fair punishment.

People will insult you

Of course, people you send to jail or have to pay huge fines will also not be happy about your judgement at all.

While some people will stay calm and will quietly accept their destiny, others will just not stay cool and some of them will even insult you.

Thus, make sure that you have a pretty stable mindset so that those insults will not bother you that much.

Some people may even threaten you

While some people will try to bring you down verbally, others will even threaten you and many judges have a difficult time sleeping at night due to that.

In fact, many judges fear that they get attacked sooner or later by people they sent to prison a long time ago.

Mental problems are not that uncommon for judges

Due to the high levels of pressure and responsibility that comes along with a career as a judge, many judges also suffer from mental problems like depression.

This is just the price that many of them have to pay for a demanding career and you should make sure that you are willing to take this risk before deciding for a career as a judge.

Top 10 Being a Judge Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Judge ProsBeing a Judge Cons
Being a judge can be excitingBeing a judge implies enormous pressure
Judges can earn really good moneyYou will be insulted as a judge
Good work-life balance as a judgeExtensive education needed
You will have plenty of powerYou need plenty of practical experience
You have an easy time in the dating marketYour mistakes can destroy lives
You can work indoors as a judgeMental problems are pretty common
You can afford nice thingsYou have to do some paperwork
Old-age poverty will not be a problemPeople may threaten you
High social standing in society as a judgeStudent loan debt can be an issue
Decent job security as a judgeYou may be dependent on your parents

Should You Become A Judge?

Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of being a judge, you should sit down and evaluate all the arguments carefully so that you can make the right decision regarding this important part of your life.

If you come to the conclusion that working as a judge is not suitable for you, there are many other job options out there that may fit better to your individual preferences.

If you still want to become a judge, you should also get detailed information on the salary, future outlook, job satisfaction, duties, working hours, work-life balance, educational requirements and social standing of judges.

Also make sure to check out the following articles if you want to learn more about additional promising job opportunities:

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as a dentist

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as an investment banker

Sources

https://www.uscourts.gov/judges-judgeships/judicial-compensation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_judge_salaries_in_the_United_States

https://www.fjc.gov/history/judges/judicial-salaries-us-district-court-judges

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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