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Judges, Mediators, and Hearing Officers

Expert understanding of law, good analytical skills, and good communication skills are some of skills required to be a judge. If you have these then career in the legal services could be the right option for you.
Judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers apply the law and oversee the legal process in courts according to local, State, and Federal statutes. They preside over cases concerning every aspect of society, from traffic offenses to disputes over management of professional sports. All judicial workers must ensure that trials and hearings are conducted fairly and that the court administers justice in a manner which safeguards the legal rights of all parties involved.
Having a clear knowledge of a judge's duties will help aspirants properly train and educate themselves, providing a leg up on the competition.

The following are examples of types of judges, mediators, and hearing officers:
Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates preside over trials or hearings. They typically work in local, state, and federal courts.

Hearing officers, also known as administrative law judges or adjudicators, usually work for government agencies. They decide many issues, such as if a person is eligible for workers' compensation benefits, or if employment discrimination occurred.

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators are usually lawyers or business professionals with expertise in a particular field, such as construction or insurance. They need to have knowledge of that industry and be able to relate well to people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Role of Judges, Mediators, and Hearing Officers

  • Research legal issues
  • Read and evaluate information from documents such as motions, claim applications, or records
  • Preside over hearings and listen to or 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
  • Analyze, research, and apply laws, regulations, or precedents to reach judgments, conclusions, or agreements
  • Write opinions, decisions, or instructions regarding the case, claim, or dispute

Skills of Judges, Mediators, and Hearing Officers

Communication Skills: Judges should be able to explain the law in layman's terms and possess the ability to communicate with people on all levels.

Critical-reasoning Skills: Judges, mediators, and hearing officers must apply rules of law. They cannot let their own personal assumptions interfere with the proceedings.

Decision-making Skills: Judges, mediators, and hearing officers must be able to weigh the facts, apply the law or rules, and make a decision relatively quickly.

Listening Skills: Judges, mediators, and hearing officers must pay close attention to what is being said in order to evaluate information.

Reading Comprehension: Judges, mediators, and hearing officers must be able to evaluate and distinguish the important facts from large amounts of complex information. 

Writing Skills: Judges, mediators, and hearing officers write recommendations or decisions on appeals or disputes. They must be able to write their decisions clearly so that all sides understand the decision.

Some Job Titles:

Judge, Magistrate, District Court Judge, Superior Court Judge, Circuit Court Judge, County Judge, Circuit Judge, Court of Appeals Judge, Justice of the Peace, Associate Justice

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