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Career and Education Opportunities for Judges in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for judges. About 1,900 people are currently employed as judges in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 11% to 2,100 people employed. This is better than the national trend for judges, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.6% over the next eight years. In general, judges arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law.

The income of a judge is about $74 hourly or $155,790 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $52 per hour or $110,220 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Arbitration, people working as judges in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Arbitration nationally. Jobs in this field include: city magistrate, police magistrate, and federal judge.

There are twelve schools within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can study to be a judge, among 274 schools of higher education total in the Los Angeles area. Given that the most common education level for judges is a Doctoral degree, you can expect to spend four or five years studying to be a judge if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years starting with a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Judge

Judge video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, judges arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law. They also may sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes.

Judges advise attorneys and court personnel regarding conduct and proceedings. They also research legal issues and write opinions on the issues. Equally important, judges have to read documents on pleadings and motions to ascertain facts and issues. They are often called upon to rule on admissibility of evidence and methods of conducting testimony. They are expected to preside over hearings and listen to allegations made by plaintiffs to establish whether the evidence supports the charges. Finally, judges settle disputes between opposing attorneys.

Every day, judges are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to write clearly and communicate well. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for judges to award compensation for damages to litigants in civil cases in relation to findings by juries or by the court. They are often called upon to perform wedding ceremonies. They also sentence defendants in criminal cases, on conviction by jury, in line with applicable government statutes. They are sometimes expected to conduct preliminary hearings to decide issues such as whether there is reasonable and probable cause to hold defendants in felony cases. Somewhat less frequently, judges are also expected to rule on custody and access disputes, and enforce court orders regarding custody and support of children.

Judges sometimes are asked to instruct juries on applicable laws, direct juries to deduce the facts from the evidence presented, and hear their verdicts. and grant divorces and divide assets between spouses. And finally, they sometimes have to monitor proceedings to insure that all applicable rules and procedures are followed.

Like many other jobs, judges must have exceptional integrity and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Administrative Law Judge. Conduct hearings to decide or recommend decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters and prepare decisions. Determine penalties or the existence and the amount of liability, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims, or compromise settlements.
  • Arbitrator. Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
  • Lawyer. Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
  • Title Examiner. Search real estate records, examine titles, or summarize pertinent legal or insurance details for a variety of purposes. May compile lists of mortgages, contracts, and other instruments pertaining to titles by searching public and private records for law firms, real estate agencies, or title insurance companies.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Judge Training

Southwestern Law School - Los Angeles, CA

Southwestern Law School, 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010-1106. Southwestern Law School is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,044 students. Southwestern Law School has 2 areas of study related to Judge. They are:

  • Law, professional degree and professional certificate which graduated 282 and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Whittier College - Whittier, CA

Whittier College, 13406 E Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA 90601. Whittier College is a small college located in Whittier, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,895 students and an admission rate of 72%. Whittier College has 2 areas of study related to Judge. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 163 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 341 students in 2008.

Kaplan College - Panorama City, CA

Kaplan College, 14355 Roscoe Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402-4222. Kaplan College is a small college located in Panorama City, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 260 students. Kaplan College has a less than one year program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 182 students in 2008.

Western State University-College of Law-Argosy - Fullerton, CA

Western State University-College of Law-Argosy, 1111 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3014. Western State University-College of Law-Argosy is a small university located in Fullerton, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 390 students. Western State University-College of Law-Argosy has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 108 students in 2008.

University of La Verne - La Verne, CA

University of La Verne, 1950 Third St, La Verne, CA 91750-4401. University of La Verne is a medium sized university located in La Verne, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,331 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of La Verne has a professional degree program in Law which graduated seventy-eight students in 2008.

Kensington College - Santa Ana, CA

Kensington College, 2428 N Grand Ave Ste D, Santa Ana, CA 92705-8708. Kensington College is a small college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 16 students. Kensington College has a less than one year program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties.

Trinity Law and Graduate School - Santa Ana, CA

Trinity Law and Graduate School, 2200 N Grand Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705. Trinity Law and Graduate School is a small school located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 137 students. Trinity Law and Graduate School has a professional degree program in Law which graduated fifty students in 2008.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 207 students in 2008.

Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount University, One Lmu Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659. Loyola Marymount University is a medium sized university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,011 students and an admission rate of 50%. Loyola Marymount University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 403 students in 2008.

Pepperdine University - Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263. Pepperdine University is a medium sized university located in Malibu, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,170 students and an admission rate of 35%. Pepperdine University has 2 areas of study related to Judge. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 211 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 49 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.