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Career and Education Opportunities for Judges in Springfield, Illinois

If you want to be a judge, the Springfield, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,230 people are currently employed as judges in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 3% to 1,190 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for judges, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 2.6% over the next eight years. Judges generally arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law.

A person working as a judge can expect to earn about $72 hourly or $151,600 yearly 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. People working as judges can fill a number of jobs, such as: trial justice, jurist, and master in chancery.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Springfield where you can study to be a judge, among nine schools of higher education total in the Springfield area. The most common level of education for judges is a Doctoral degree. It will take four or five years to learn 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 Springfield 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

University of Illinois at Springfield - Springfield, IL

University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, Springfield, IL 62703-5407. University of Illinois at Springfield is a small university located in Springfield, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,711 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Springfield has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties which graduated zero and eight students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois
Springfield, Illinois photo by %C3%89ovart_Ca%C3%A7eir

Springfield is situated in Sangamon County, Illinois. It has a population of over 117,352, which has grown by 5.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Springfield, 75, is far less than the national average. New single-family homes in Springfield cost $245,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, ninety-seven new homes were built in Springfield, down from one hundred seventy-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Springfield are public administration, health care, and educational services. For men, it is public administration, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 30.6% of Springfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Springfield is 8.5%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Springfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.9%, is more than both the national and state average. First Presbyterian Church and Christ Episcopal Church are all churches located in Springfield. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the United Methodist Church.

Springfield is home to the Oliver P Parks Telephone Museum and the Building I as well as Jaycee Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Capital City Shopping Center, Fairhills Shopping Center and Chatham Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Springfield can choose from Cottage Inn, Courtyard Springfield and Drury Inn and Suites Springfield IL for temporary stays in the area.