- legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
- active listening skills
- the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
- knowledge of English language
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
- leadership skills
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- preparing for trials by reading papers submitted by legal teams
- hearing civil, family and criminal cases
- listening to evidence from witnesses, defendants and victims
- advising juries and legal teams on points of law
- passing sentences on conviction and imposing other penalties
- reaching decisions in tribunals, for example on employment disputes or immigration cases
- helping sides to find agreement in civil cases before proceedings begin
- taking expert opinion, for instance in custody or child welfare cases
- hearing appeals and reviewing decisions of lower courts
- writing reports, giving reasons for rulings
- keeping up to date with legal developments
You could work in a court or in an office.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you'll travel often.
There are structured career development routes in the judiciary, which allow you to move from fee-paid sessional roles in the lower courts through to paid positions in the upper courts.
For example, with experience, you might move from deputy district judge or recorder to become a permanent district judge, circuit judge or high court judge. Beyond that, you could be appointed to the court of appeal.
You can also specialise in particular divisions of the judiciary, like the family courts or employment tribunals.