Judicial Nominations

(Totally Unhelpful) Tips On How To Become A Judge

Have you ever wondered how that moronic judge managed to scale the judiciary to plop on the bench? Or perhaps you’re eyeing a judicial career yourself and just want to know how to get started down that long path. Or perhaps you just want to see a non-legal website try — and fail — to provide a helpful career guide for prospective jurists.

If you’re looking to be the next Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this is not the guide for you…

HowStuffWorks, America’s premier website for explaining how airplanes work with traffic-whoring slideshows, decided to tackle the question of How to Become a Judge for the laypeople out there who see a future judicial career in the offing. It’s just truly inane advice:

1. Go to college. The first step is earning a bachelor’s degree.

Is the audience for this children who haven’t gone to college? Why not start with “Be Born”? Let’s markup this point, shall we? “1. Go to college. The first step is earning a bachelor’s degree befriending a bunch of tools with old money that will form your political connections later in life.” What about some insight into a course of study that could help a student get into law school at the very least? Not from HowStuffWorks — they’re too busy teaching us how to escape alligators.

2. Go to law school. Study for and take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Apply to and get accepted to a law school. After three years of study, you will earn your law degree.

This seems to gloss over a lot of critical information — like the comparative advantage earned by attending a highly respected law school or the pressure to achieve good grades from the get go to secure a slot on law review and a summer position that can ultimately help you overcome your crippling debt.

3. Become a lawyer. With your law degree in hand, apply for admission to the bar in the state in which you want to practice. Before you’re admitted to the bar, you must pass a test and undergo a background check. Now you’re able to practice law.

I guess that copy sounds better than “devote hundreds of hours to memorizing minutiae about commercial paper that will never, ever, ever come up in your actual career.” Also passing that background test may be harder for some.

Remember, this is supposed to be about becoming a judge and three steps in we’re still just out of law school.

4. Get experience. If you want to become a judge, it’s a good idea to work for a judge as a law clerk. However, practicing law in any capacity will provide you with experience. When a seat as a judge becomes vacant, submit your name to the nominating committee for consideration.

At this point all we have is “be a lawyer and sign up to be a judge.” You’d think there’s more to it than that, but apparently not. This post was clearly written by the Underpants Gnomes: Step 1 — Be a lawyer, Step 2 — ????, Step 3 — Be a judge.

You know you have a bad career guide when Wikihow is providing better depth.

5. Become a judge. Judges are either appointed or elected. Either way, aspiring judges must have a good reputation within the legal profession. It’s also important to have some political support and be well connected with those that make the decisions.

It might be important to have political support or be well connected to get either elected or appointed by an elected official. Good call, HowStuffWorks. Useful topics to discuss might be the possible ethical implications of fundraising for a campaign or suggestions for making the appropriate connections to be considered for an appointment. But that’s too much to ask.

Clearly, HowStuffWorks is truly committed to the long-tail SEO of capturing the 200-300 idiots who every year Google “how do I become a judge” and find themselves directed to this post.

So, sign up and then get the job. Stay tuned for the “How to Become President” article featuring gems like, “Win a national election. The end.”

6. Continue your education. Whether appointed or elected, judges must participate in a training session administered by the state. It’s imperative to continue your education and training even after you become a judge.

A nice little bonus for you, because technically this is how you stay a judge rather than how you become a judge. It also helps to lay off the racist emails.

How to Become a Judge [HowStuffWorks]

Earlier: Judge Who Sent Racist Email Sent Lots Of Racist Emails… Probably Because He’s Racist

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