How to Become a Judge in India | Skills, Responsibilities, Salary, Job Opportunities, Career Growth, List of Best Law Schools

How to Become a Judge in India: In India, becoming a judge or a magistrate is one of the most respected/coveted positions one could wish for. In a democratic country like ours, where the judiciary is independent, becoming a judge is a source of pride and responsibility. The operation and effectiveness of the judicial system are dependent on the performance of the judges.

Refer to Course Details to know more about related courses and find details like Admission Process, Eligibility Criteria, etc. In this article, you will know about the career of becoming a judge in India.

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What Does a Judge Do?

A Judge is a person who has authority in courtroom proceedings. A judge’s powers and responsibilities differ depending on the jurisdiction. Each case brought before a judge carries a variety of values, emotions, and stakes.

A judge is in charge of deciding the fate of both the plaintiff and the accused. While some roles are performed in the courtroom during trials, much of the work, such as seeking opinions, conducting research, and discussing cases, is done behind closed doors in chambers.

Judge primary responsibilities include the following,

  • Supervising trials and listening to prosecutors’ and defendants’ allegations, witness testimonies, and so on.
  • A judge will also inform/remind the defendant/plaintiff of their legal rights.
  • The judge also has the authority to rule on evidence admissibility.
  • They also give instructions to the jury and decide whether the defendant is guilty or innocent.
  • The sentences or punishments are then decided by a judge. They also decide how long the sentence will be.
  • The chief justice’s decision is final. All of these decisions are based on a thorough understanding of the trial.

Apart from the above responsibilities in the courtroom, a judge is the constitutional guardian and protector of fundamental rights. This means that any state or central government conflict will be reviewed by the judiciary while all rights and laws are upheld.

Eligibility Requirements for Becoming Judge

To become a judge in India, one should satisfy the following eligibility requirements:

  • Contenders need to be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking in the state language.
  • Also, they should know to translate the State language into English and vice versa.
  • The age of the aspirant should not be less than 21 years and not more than 35 years.
  • Educational Qualification: One should have a law degree (LLB).

How to Become a Judge in India?

The Indian judicial system is integrated into Supreme Court, high courts (national level), and subordinate courts (state level). Since each court has a unique set of judges, the eligibility and powers of each court differ. The process of becoming a judge in India under various courts are given below:

How to Become a Judge in Supreme Court in India?

The Supreme Court, also known as the Apex Court, is the top court in India, with judges appointed by the President of India. Below are some of the qualifications to become a judge in the supreme court in India,

  • The candidate must be an Indian citizen.
  • The candidate must hold an LLB/LLM degree.
  • He/she must have served as a High Court judge for at least 5 years or as a High Court advocate for at least 10 years.
  • Apart from these, a person is also eligible if the president considers him or her to be an exceptional jurist.

How to Become a Judge in High Court in India?

The state’s judicial administration is led by the High court. Below are some of the qualifications to become a judge in the high court in India,

  • The candidate must be an Indian citizen.
  • The candidate must hold an LLB/LLM degree.
  • He or she must have served as a judge in India for ten years or as an advocate in a high court for ten years.

How to Become a Judge in Subordinate Court in India?

Subordinate courts are the courts at the district level. Below are some of the qualifications to become a judge in the subordinate court in India,

  • The candidate must hold an LLB/LLM degree.
  • He or she must have passed the state Public Service Commission exam.

How to Get a Law Degree?

The first step towards a job as a judge is to obtain a law degree. A bachelor’s degree in law – LLB is required to succeed in the area. Several reputable law schools across the world offer LLB programmes, which represent the start of your path to becoming a judge.

The CLAT exam is required for admission to India’s premier law schools. However, if you want to study law at one of the top schools in the world, such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford, or Cambridge, you will need to pass the LSAT exam. Preparing for the LSAT might be difficult, but passing the exam will ensure you receive the best legal education possible.

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India’s Best Law Schools List

The basic and first step in becoming a judge is to obtain an LLB or LLM degree. Numerous colleges in India prepare you to be a qualified lawyer and judge. The following is a list of India’s best law schools,

  • National Law School of India University, Banglore
  • National Law University, Delhi
  • NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • National Law University, Rajasthan
  • The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
  • Symbiosis Law School. Pune
  • Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi
  • The Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab

Experience as Judge

When considering how to become a judge, it’s important to remember that prior professional experience is required. Judges are confronted with a wide range of matters in the courtroom, which can be challenging at times. The smallest misjudgment due to inexperience can seriously compromise the delivery of justice.

This is why highly qualified candidates are chosen for the position. To ensure that a highly experienced professional oversees a case, the candidate must meet a set of requirements before being appointed as a Judge in a courtroom.

Before becoming a judge, the majority of legal professionals work as attorneys. Before taking the exam for a judgeship, a lawyer can specialize in many fields like below,

  • Immigration Law,
  • Civil Rights Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Intellectual Property Law

Pass a Licensure Examination

After earning your bachelor’s degree in law, you must qualify for the Judicial Services Exam or the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Examination. The highlights of the exam are given below,

  • The age limit for the exam ranges from 21 to 35 years old.
  • To be eligible for the exam, you must have an LLB degree and at least 7 years of work experience.
  • The exam is divided into three stages: preliminary, mains, and interviews.
  • The questions in the preliminary exam are objective, whereas the questions in the main exam are subjective.
  • The exam is administered in approximately 24 Indian states, each with its own set of eligibility requirements.
  • The syllabus for the licensure exam includes subjective topics such as Criminal Law, Penal Code, and the Constitution, in addition to General Knowledge, Aptitude and Reasoning, and Language.

Skills Required for Becoming a Judge in India

In addition to meeting the position requirements, the candidate should have the following skills:

  • Critical Reasoning Capabilities
  • Analyze Objectively
  • Listening Techniques
  • Making Unbiased Decisions
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing Skills with Empathy

What is a Judge Salary in India?

A judge’s salary is determined by the type and position of the judge.

  • A district-level judge’s starting salary is INR 70,000 per month. It rises with experience and ranges between INR 1,44,840 and INR 2,24,100 per month. A supreme court judge and a high court judge earn an average monthly salary of INR 2.50 lakh per month.

How to Become a Judge in India

Best Books That Will Help You Improve Your Judicial Knowledge

Apart from reading and studying the entire Indian Constitution, students must also learn from the numerous works authored by judges, writers, and legal professionals. Below are some of the books that will help you improve your judicial knowledge,

  • On Balance (Leila Seth)
  • Landmark Judgments That Changed India (Ashok K. Ganguly)
  • How Judges Think (Richard Posner)
  • The Trial (Franz Kafka)
  • The Making of a Justice: Reflections on My First 94 Years (John Paul Stevens)

FAQs on How to Become a Judge in India

1. How many years does it take to become a judge in India?

To become the Higher Judiciary, one should have a graduate certificate in law and need a minimum of 7 years of litigating practice.

2. How can I become a judge after 12th in India?

If you want to become a judge after 12th class in India, then you have to hold 5 years Integrated Law Degree and then 3 years Law Degree graduation is necessary.

3. What is the qualification of judges in India?

The minimum educational qualification to become a judge in India is to hold a law degree (LLB).

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