2017 Judges and Hearing Officers
Median Pay: US$109,010
Entry Level: Doctoral or professional degree
Judges and hearing officers apply the law by overseeing the legal process in courts. They also conduct pretrial hearings, resolve administrative disputes, facilitate negotiations between opposing parties, and issue legal decisions.

Judges and hearing officers typically do the following:

  • Research legal issues
  • Read and evaluate information from documents, such as motions, claim applications, and records
  • Preside over hearings and listen to and read arguments by opposing parties
  • Determine if the information presented supports the charge, claim, or dispute
  • Decide if the procedure is being conducted according to the rules and law
  • Apply laws or precedents to reach judgments and to resolve disputes between parties
  • Write opinions, decisions, and instructions regarding cases, claims, and disputes

Judges commonly preside over trials and hearings of cases regarding nearly every aspect of society, from individual traffic offenses to issues concerning the rights of large corporations. Judges listen to arguments and determine if the evidence presented deserves a trial. In criminal cases, judges may decide that people charged with crimes should be held in jail until the trial, or they may set conditions for their release. They also approve search warrants and arrest warrants.

Judges interpret the law to determine how a trial will proceed, which is particularly important when unusual circumstances arise for which standard procedures have not been established. They ensure that hearings and trials are conducted fairly and that the legal rights of all involved parties are protected.

In trials in which juries are selected to decide the case, judges instruct jurors on applicable laws and direct them to consider the facts from the evidence. For other trials, judges decide the case. A judge who determines guilt in criminal cases may impose a sentence or penalty on the guilty party. In civil cases, the judge may award relief, such as compensation for damages, to the parties who win lawsuits.

Judges use various forms of technology, such as electronic databases and software, to manage cases and to prepare for trials. In some cases, a judge may manage the court's administrative and clerical staff.

The following are examples of types of judges and hearing officers:

Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates preside over trials and hearings. They typically work in local, state, and federal courts.

In local and state court systems, they have a variety of titles, such as municipal court judge, county court judge, and justice of the peace. Traffic violations, misdemeanors, small-claims cases, and pretrial hearings make up the bulk of these judges' work.

In federal and state court systems, district court judges and general trial court judges have authority over any case in their system. Appellate court judges rule on a small number of cases, by reviewing decisions of the lower courts and lawyers' written and oral arguments.

Administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers usually work for local, state, and federal government agencies. They decide many issues, such as whether a person is eligible for workers' compensation benefits or whether employment discrimination occurred.

Pardon Attorney

Type: Part Time
DutiesSummaryInformation about the Office of the Pardon Attorney can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/ .ResponsibilitiesAs Pardon Attorney in the Office of the Pardon Attorney, you will be responsible for the preparation of letters of advice and reports of the Attorney General or Deputy...
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Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
Higher Achievement seeks a full-time Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator (VSC) at the DC Metro Affiliate with an anticipated start date of August 2018.The Volunteer and Scholar Coordinator is responsible for the recruitment, supervision, training and support of volunteer teaching mentors, ensuring...
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Criminal Deputy

Type: Full Time, Full Time Alumnus
This classification performs law enforcement duties to ensure protection of life, property, and civil rights of citizens by investigation of crimes, complaints, and other matters that relate to public welfare; investigates traffic accidents and boating accidents; and maintains appropriate record...
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Career/Leadership Development Events (CDE/LDE) Intern

Type: Internship
The National FFA is seeking applications from qualified individuals interested in a 4 1/2 month internship at the National FFA Center in Indianapolis, IN. The position will start the first week of July and end early-November.The Awards and Recoginition team is looking for an Intern with knowledge...
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