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Planning Your Law Career Path

Developing A Court And Tribunal Legal Career Path

For graduates looking to enter the judicial system, there are three primary career paths they may pursue. Solicitors work to assist clients in preparing for court appearances and may engage in the actual representation of them in fairly simple matters. Barristers possess a higher degree of experience when it comes to court appearances, procedural rules, and the like. Lastly, it is possible to seek a role within the tribunals themselves, such as that of a tipstaff, judge's associate, judge, or support staffer for the courts.

Entering the System Those interested in becoming a solicitor tend to proceed along a well-established career trajectory that includes practical, hands-on training and subsequent movement up the ladder within a firm. Alternatively, becoming an associate or tipstaff to a judge as a recent graduate is a great way to enter the tribunals’ sector of the legal profession. Such individuals perform support tasks for judges such as note-taking, judgment editing, and the like.

Barristers must first graduate with a law degree from a university, undergo specific practical training, receive admission to practise from a state or territorial Supreme Court, pass additional exams, and seek registration from the appropriate bar association.

Those hoping to remain in a court position permanently may wish to seek appointment as a judge or magistrate. Judges hear cases in high courts, evaluate and interpret legal precedent and legislative acts, enforce evidentiary rules, and determine criminal sentences. Magistrates are situated on local courts but engage in many similar tasks as judges. Administrative roles in support of both roles include that of legal assistants, registrars, and law clerks, court reporters, arbitrators, and more.

Varied Barriers to Entry Each state and territory has its own rules by which an individual can become a judge or magistrate, and these must be followed closely by anyone hoping to secure such a position. Rigorous standards and selection criteria apply, and the process of obtaining a judicial appointment can be extremely competitive.

Judges are well-paid, and their compensation often includes perks such as a lifetime pension, paid vehicle and driver, and more. Positions as tipstaves or judicial associates are also highly-coveted, as they offer a tremendous springboard for building a long-term career in the courts.

Benefits of Judicial Careers Working within the judicial sector offers a host of benefits, not the least of which is the opportunity to help further the cause of justice in a given jurisdiction. Positions in this realm are also known for their impressive job stability, comparatively high compensation, and desirable work-life balance. This type of employment is ideal for anyone interested in facilitating fairness through the courts and those who are confident in their ability to administer court rules in an efficient and appropriate manner.

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