Different states have different requirements for becoming a judge. Unlike most states, Rhode Island does not hold judicial elections. Instead, they are confirmed as judges by the state legislature. Learn more about becoming a judge in Rhode Island below.
Earn a Law Degree and Pass the Bar
Firstly, future judges need to earn a bachelor’s degree. It does not matter what the degree is in but earning a degree that deals with law and government will make future education endeavors easier. From there, judges need to attend law school to earn a Juris Doctor degree. Once you are done with that, judges need to take the Bar Exam. Once all of this is completed (which can take around eight years in total), you are ready to be appointed.
Become Officially Appointed by the State
Potential judges in Rhode Island need to be screened by the Rhode Island Judicial Nominating commission before doing anything else. If the screening goes well, they will then have to attend a gubernatorial appointment. Finally, the judge appointment needs to be confirmed by the Rhode Island State Legislature. Once appointed, the judge holds their status for life.
Choose Your Staff
Judges are appointed by the state and work within courthouses. While many of the people judges will work with are hired directly by the courthouse, the judge still has some say in who is hired. One of the biggest choices judges has to make is whether they will hire a court reporter or transcriber. Transcribers are often cheaper, but court reporters are typically faster. When looking for a new employee, judges should search for employees in their area, like Providence Court Reporters, for example. The courthouse will likely have the final say in who is hired, but the judge’s opinion is always valued.
Becoming a judge takes a similar path as becoming a lawyer. Only those with dedication and a true sense of justice can tackle all of the obstacles in their path.