Magistrate: Job Description and Requirements for Becoming a Magistrate
You can expect to complete requirements for a law degree (J.D.) and passing the bar exam before being selected to serve as a U.S. District Court Magistrate. Additional experience in serving as an attorney or a law clerk is helpful in gaining an appointment.
Magistrate Career Definition
In the United States, a Magistrate is appointed by the U.S. district court judge to serve an 8-year term if full-time or a 4-year term if part-time. A Magistrate can be reappointed. The Magistrate conducts a variety of judicial tasks with the purpose of expediting the completion of proceedings in U.S. district courts.
How to Become a Magistrate
Required Education for a Career as a Magistrate
A bachelor's degree and experience in legal matters is the minimum requirement for a Magistrate position. In practice, the Magistrate will have completed a law degree (Juris Doctor) program. A J.D. degree program typically requires completion of 2-3 years of law school beyond the bachelor's degree plus successfully passing the state bar exam.
Skills Required for a Career as a Magistrate
A Magistrate position requires utilization of advanced communication and organizational skills. The person who is skilled in active listening, time management, critical thinking, reading and writing is likely to be successful as a Magistrate.
Career and Economic Outlook for Magistrates
The Magistrate's career outlook is projected to grow at a slower rate than average. Competition for the jobs that open is stiff, since there is a great deal of prestige in sitting on the bench. According to a Senate fact sheet, www.senate.gov, Magistrate judges earned $149,100 in 2005.
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