What Are Some Interview Questions Asked of Prospective Judges?

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When a prospective judge is interviewed for an appointment or position, common questions during the interview process include: “Why do you want to be a judge?” “How would you describe your legal practice?” and “What type of judge do you plan to be?” Personal and character questions may include “How do you handle stress?” “What are your best attributes?” and “How would you describe your personal ethics?”

Questions about a person’s education, such as “How did you rank in your law school class?” or “What course material prepared you the most for a career in law?” may be asked during the interview. Questions relating to legal experience may also be asked, such as “How would you describe your most difficult criminal case?” “What civil cases posed a challenge for you?” and “Do you prefer criminal or civil case loads?”

At the onset of the interview, before questions are asked, the panel may ask the prospective judge to share an opening statement. Instead of a question, the panel may start with, “Tell us about yourself,” to launch the opening statement, which is typically two to three minutes in length. The prospective judge should provide specific facts and details about her work experience, case loads, criminal and civil cases tried, and successes in the courtroom, according to Women Lawyers of Utah.