Administrative Law Judge

Decide on disputes between government agencies and citizens.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$40,000 – $157,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Administrative Law Judges do?

Administrative law is concerned with cases involving government agencies. Unemployment, social security, worker’s compensation, and health regulations are the topics that an Administrative Law Judge discusses every day. Your job as an Administrative Law Judge is to hear cases and make a decision based on your knowledge of the law.

Common cases involve disputes between a governmental agency and a citizen. For example, if a laid-off worker is denied his unemployment claim, the case will go to an Administrative Law Judge. However, your courtroom might not actually be a courtroom. That’s because administrative law often provides a less formal atmosphere than court law. You often hold hearings in your office or a boardroom. But this more casual environment doesn’t mean less respect for the law. You look at evidence from both sides, whether they’re represented by Lawyers or not. You also ask questions and gather information, then base your ruling on the letter of the law.

You are the “Switzerland” of the proceedings. Your neutral stance allows you to listen to both sides, with no influence from one party or the other. You have the power to protect major governmental agencies from fraudulent claims. In the long run, this saves taxpayers money, and creates a platform of reliability for the agency. At the same time, you protect citizens against the potential abuses of government by ensuring benefits are received on time and without discrimination.

Should I be an Administrative Law Judge?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Administrative Judge, Housing Court Judge, Social Security Administrative Law Judge See More

    How to Become an
    Administrative Law Judge

    Most Administrative Law Judges have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:qgbla9&chl=no+college+%2813%25%29|certificate+%285%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29||doctorate+%2850%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,13,50
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