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Career and Education Opportunities for Judges in Elgin, Illinois

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for judges in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 1,230 jobs for judges in Illinois and this is projected to shrink 3% to about 1,190 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for judges are expected to shrink by about 2.6%. In general, judges arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law.

A person working as a judge can expect to earn about $72 per hour or $151,600 annually on average in Illinois and about $52 per hour or $110,220 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Arbitration, people working as judges in Illinois earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Arbitration nationally. Jobs in this field include: presiding judge, district court judge, and justice.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a judge. Judges usually hold a Doctoral degree, so 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.


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 Elgin 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.


Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 111 students in 2008.


Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.