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How to Become a Judge in Florida

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To become a judge in Florida, you first must meet the overall employment criteria. You will need to have a college degree and a law degree from an accredited university. Your degree need not be from any college in Florida, however. Florida judges also need to pass a series of written and professional tests, like the LSAT and Bar exam, for example. They must also become certified to preside over court or civil trials. Know that if you want to become a judge in Florida, it will take some time. Here are some tips to help you get going.

Become a Judge in Florida

Have a bachelor's degree. Florida judges need to have a four-year college degree from an accredited university. Although there are no specific prerequisite majors, many judges majored in subjects like Public Administration, English or Prelaw.

Take the LSAT. After you get a bachelor's degree, you will need to attend a law-school. You cannot attend a law school unless you register and take the Law School School Admission Test (LSAT). Everyone who wants to become a judge in Florida is required to have taken this test. The cost is generally about $100, but if you have financial difficulty for some reason, you can receive a "waiver." This will allow you up to two chances to take the LSAT for free. Additionally, if you can receive a fee waiver for the LSAT test, most law schools in Florida will also waive all entrance and testing fees, as well.

Get a law degree. A "Juris Doctorate" is an academic degree awarded to people who have completed three to five years of law school training. If you want to become a judge in Florida, know this is another major prerequisite. No one will let you be a judge if you do not have a law degree.

Take the Florida Bar Exam. The Bar exam is a two-day long test given to people who have graduated from an accredited law school. The Florida Bar Exam is given to law school graduates to ensure they are qualified to practice law in Florida. People who want to become a judge in Florida also must receive mediation training, as well. The Florida Bar Exam is administered twice a year and costs approximately betweem $375 to $2,500.

Become a lawyer and practice law for several years. There is no set requirement dictating how long a Florida lawyer must practice law before being able to become a judge in Florida. Most judges practice law for approximately five to ten years. Make contacts on both the federal and state level, while working as a lawyer in Florida, if you want to become a successful judge in Florida.

Tip

To register for the LSAT, know you must also register with Law School Administration Council (LSAC).

You must maintain GPA of 3.0 or higher to become a judge in Florida. Most recommondations are given to people with the highest academic performance.

Florida judges need to be either appointed or elected. It is not unusual for a Florida judge to receive tenure for many years.

Warning

Be at least thirty years old before you try to become a judge in Florida.

About the Author

Vaughnlea Leonard started her professional writing and editing career in 2005. Her work has appeared in "Press Journal," "Atlantic Publishing Company" and "Hometown News and Florida Today." A former military police enlistee and Florida certified educator, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida.

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