What Are the Qualifications to Serve As a Supreme Court Justice?

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There are no specific guidelines in the United States Constitution that determine what qualifies one to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. It is not required that justices attend law school or even serve as lawyers prior to being appointed to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, while it is possible for Supreme Court Justices to be appointed and serve long terms without ever attending law school, it is now uncommon due to the current availability of legal education in the nation. The last justice to serve on the Supreme Court without first going to law school was James F. Byrnes, who served in the 1940s.