Career and Education Opportunities for Judges in Houston, Texas
Judges can find many career and educational opportunities in the Houston, Texas area. About 2,550 people are currently employed as judges in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 17% to 2,990 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. Judges generally arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law.
Judges earn approximately $23 per hour or $48,590 per year on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $52 per hour or $110,220 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Arbitration, people working as judges in Texas earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Arbitration nationally. Judges work in a variety of jobs, including: municipal court magistrate, justice, and police magistrate.
There are eighty-one schools of higher education in the Houston area, including three within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree to start your career 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.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Judge
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 Houston 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
South Texas College of Law - Houston, TX
South Texas College of Law, 1303 San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002-7000. South Texas College of Law is a small college located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,267 students. South Texas College of Law has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 342 students in 2008.
University of Houston - Houston, TX
University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 331 students in 2008.
Texas Southern University - Houston, TX
Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St, Houston, TX 77004. Texas Southern University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,062 students and an admission rate of 99%. Texas Southern University has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated 181 students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas
Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.