What are the qualifications for becoming a judge in California? 

A. Must have passed the state bar. B. Must have a law degree or law enforcement background. C. Must been an attorney who has practiced law for 10 years in California. D. Must be at least 50 in age and have lived in California for a minimum of 10 years. E. Other than being selected by the governor, there are no set qualifications.

The qualifications for becoming a judge in California include that the person under consideration must have had at least ten years of experience as a law practitioner or as a judge of a court of record in California. The candidate must have been an attorney admitted to practice law in California or have served as a judge of a court of record in California for at least 10 years immediately prior to the person’s election or appointment.

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Qualifications for becoming a judge in California include that the person under consideration must have had at least ten years of experience as a law practitioner or as a judge of a court of record. Some states, including New York, will allow people to become judges even if they have not practiced law, but California is not among these. California, like the majority of US states, requires that the candidate has practiced law.

More specifically, the candidate has to have worked within the judicial field within the state of California in order to qualify as a judge (answer C) and the experience must be recent. The candidate, including for the position of trial judges, must have been an attorney admitted to practice law in California or have served as a judge of a court of record in California for at least 10 years immediately prior to the person’s election or appointment.

Not surprisingly given its size and population, the California court system is the country’s largest. The state has more than 1,500 superior court judges, as well as over 100 courts of appeals judges and seven supreme court justices.

Trial judges are elected by popular vote. Appellate judges are appointed by the governor in California and confirmed by a special commission. The California commission on judicial nominees, which is generally referred to as the Jenny Commission, reviews the qualifications of prospective candidates. Following an extensive investigation into a candidate’s qualifications, the Jenny commission then makes its recommendations to the California governor, ranking candidates into the following designations: exceptionally well qualified, well qualified, qualified, or not qualified. The governor is not bound by the Jenny Commission's recommendations.

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According to the source in the link below, judges are appointed to the California Supreme Court and to the Court of Appeals by the governor. Judges in the Superior Court are selected by popular vote in non-partisan elections. For any of these positions, judges must have worked as a lawyer in the state of California or served as a judge for 10 years or more.

All lawyers in California must pass the state bar. According to the State Bar of California website (see the link below), lawyers can go to an accredited law school before taking the state bar exam. However, they may also pursue another option, such as education at a correspondence law school or distance-learning law school. They may also be apprenticed to a lawyer or judge. Therefore, the answer to this question is A. C is not always true, as candidates for judgeships can also have served 10 years as a judge in a court of record.

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What are the qualifications for becoming a judge in California? 


A. Must have passed the state bar. 

Yes. One cannot be considered for a judicial position or practice law in California without passing the State Bar examinations. (Source: The California State Bar).


B. Must have a law degree or law enforcement background. 

Not necessarily. California is one of the few states where one may choose not to go to law school to become a judge or attorney. Judicial apprenticeships are allowed in California.

Graduate from a State Bar-accredited or American Bar Association-approved law school, complete four years of study at an unaccredited or correspondence law school, spend four years studying law in a law office/judge’s chambers program, or complete a study program that combines these various methods. (Source: How to practice law in California).

Also, read States That Allow Bar Examinations Without A Law Degree.


C. Must been an attorney who has practiced law for 10 years in California. 

Yes. A lawyer interested in applying for a judicial position must be a law practitioner/lawyer in good standing with the California State bar for ten years or have served as a judge in a court of record in California for 10 years. (Source: Judicial Appointments in California).


D. Must be at least 50 in age and have lived in California for a minimum of 10 years.

No.


E. Other than being selected by the governor, there are no set qualifications.

No. Supreme Court justices of the California Supreme Court and appellate judges are chosen in an identical manner: by gubernatorial appointment followed with the Commission on Judicial Nominee Evaluation's confirmation.

Trial judges are elected by popular vote. All will still have to pass the State Bar examinations.

Source: Judicial Selection In California.

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