Circuit Court Judge

Hear cases and hand down sentences for a specific judicial court district.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$59,000 – $143,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Circuit Court Judges do?

A Circuit Court Judge is one of several Judges serving a specific judicial circuit established by legislature. The work is split amongst the Judges based on how big the caseload is and what the population is. Circuit Court Judges work within one of the 13 judicial court districts of the United States, and the cases they preside over might cover anything from a minor infraction to a serious crime.

If you’re a Circuit Court Judge, you preside over hearings and trials on a daily basis. Before a case goes to trial, there’s the pretrial hearing. You decide within a few minutes whether the evidence is even viable, and whether the case can hold water in court.

Before going to court and hearing a full trial, you spend a long time reading and preparing for the case. Your work during the hearing revolves around keeping the court in order, making sure that the trial is fair and balanced, and making the ultimate ruling based on the evidence.

When a jury is present, you have the added responsibility of instructing them on the laws relevant to the case. If a trial by jury is waived, it’s all up to you. You also decide the amount of compensation to be paid to parties, or the amount of bail to be set. Additionally, you oversee the imposition of sentences.

In the court, you overrule or sustain actions. You know what is and isn’t permissible because you’ve practiced law yourself, so you make sure the trial proceeds within the law.

Should I be a Circuit Court Judge?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Appellate Court Judge, Appellate-Court Judge, Associate Juvenile Court Judge, Circuit Judge, Conciliation-Court Judge See More

    How to become a Circuit Court Judge

    Most Circuit Court Judges have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:xaajj9&chl=no+college+%2823%25%29|||bachelor%27s+%289%25%29|master%27s+%289%25%29|doctorate+%2860%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,23,60
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