How to Become a Justice of the Peace in Kentucky

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

careertrend article image
gavel image by Cora Reed from

To become a justice of the peace in Kentucky, you'll need to be part lawyer, part politician and part executive. Before you stage your campaign in the Kentucky district where you reside, make sure you meet the requirements to become a magistrate in this state.

Attend college and obtain a bachelor's degree. Kentucky justices of the peace, also called magistrates, are accredited lawyers and are expected to perform judicial duties. Start on this career path by getting a bachelor's degree, preferably in a law-related field such as criminal justice.

Go to law school. Upon completing college, attend graduate law courses and obtain a law degree.

Pass the Kentucky state bar exam. The bar exam is a written test, which lawyers must complete in order to legally practice law.

Live in Kentucky. Justices of the peace are elected Kentucky officials; to be eligible for the position, you must live in one of Kentucky's county districts.

Choose your party. Decide on the political party with whom you want to be affiliated, and then petition that party requesting to launch your own campaign to run for the office of justice of the peace. You should submit an application before the election begins, generally the year before election year. When and if approval is received from the state Democrats, Republicans or Independents, you can launch your campaign.

Campaign and win. Become a justice of the peace in Kentucky by winning the most votes in your district within your county of residence. Launching a political campaign often costs money for signs, buttons and other election paraphernalia. Win the election to attain the position of justice of the peace. In Kentucky, this position is granted in four-year terms.


Obtain experience practicing law in order to rise to the challenges of the job.


You may need to campaign several times before you win the elected position of justice of the peace.