There are three main things one needs to have to be a judge in Arizona. First, one must have a Juris Doctor degree, next one must pass the Arizona state bar, and finally one must be either elected or appointed as a judge in Arizona.
Receive a law degree. In Arizona, a law degree, called a juris doctor, is required to become a judge. A juris doctor is received after the undergraduate degree and is a three-year course of study. American Bar Association-accredited law schools allow the bar exam to be taken in any state.
Pass the Arizona Bar exam. It is a multi-day test that ascertains mastery of Arizona's law. Being admitted to practice law in Arizona is contingent upon both passing the bar exam and a background check. Arizona's bar exam consists of an essay portion specific to Arizona law and a multi-state portion containing multiple choice questions.
Apply for a clerkship with a judge in Arizona. This is highly recommended as it gives a first-hand view of a judge's duties on a daily basis. Arizona has clerkships at the local and state level, where clerks assist judges in research and drafting opinions.
Get appointed or elected. Most judges in Arizona are appointed by the governor. Once appointed, these judges are retained or rejected by Arizona voters every four years for superior court judges, and every six years for appellate courts. Some superior court judges are elected and city magistrates and municipal judges are usually appointed, although some are elected.
Tips & Warnings
- One does not need to attend law school in Arizona to become an attorney in the state
- Photo Credit Justice image by MVit from Fotolia.com
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