What Do Judges Do When They Retire?


Quick Answer

After retiring from full-time service, many judges continue to serve as senior judges, which allows them to earn their full salary and continue to hear cases while also giving them the opportunity to take a reduced workload. However, the path taken after retirement varies greatly from judge to judge.

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Full Answer

According to ABA Journal, taking senior status is often an attractive path for judges age 65 or over whose combined age and work experience totals or exceeds 80 years, as it allows them to simultaneously receive the same salary and pay less in taxes than they would as full-time judges. Many judges who retire directly from active or senior service seek out alternative dispute resolution work, where their skills are often in high demand.

Retired judges subject to assignment are not allowed to serve as an attorney in court or use their judicial title in a law practice, as noted by the University of Houston. They are also unable to publicly endorse another candidate for office or solicit money for charities, and their ability to provide counsel to businesses and contribute to the campaigns of political parties is limited. For judges not subject to assignment, however, some of these restrictions may differ.

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