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How to Become a Judge in India?

Becoming a Judge in India is a highly respected and prestigious career path. Judges play a crucial role in the judicial system, presiding over Court proceedings, listening to arguments, and delivering verdicts based on the law. This guide outlines the steps to becoming a Judge, from obtaining a law degree to qualifying for judicial service examinations. It provides insights into the qualifications and responsibilities at different levels of the Judiciary.

Understanding the Role of a Judge

Judges are responsible for interpreting and applying the law in both civil and criminal cases. They hear allegations, and witness testimonies, and determine the admissibility of evidence. Judges also ensure that defendants understand their rights, instruct juries, and impose sentences in criminal cases or decide liability and damages in civil cases. Their role is integral to maintaining the rule of law and delivering justice.

Steps to Becoming a Judge

1. Educational Foundation

  • Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: To begin, complete a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, such as B.Com, BBA, BA, BCA, or B.Tech.
  • Enroll in a Law School: Qualify for law entrance exams like CLAT, AILET, or DU LLB, and pursue a 3-year LLB or a 5-year integrated law degree (B.A.LL.B, B.Com. LL.B, or B.B.A.LL.B). The integrated course is often recommended as it provides a comprehensive understanding of legal principles.

2. Gain Practical Experience

  • Internships and Apprenticeships: After obtaining your LLB, gain practical experience through internships or apprenticeships at law firms, Courts, or legal aid organizations. This hands-on experience is valuable in understanding the practical aspects of law and the functioning of the judicial system.

3. Judicial Service Examinations

  • Lower Judicial Services (LJS): To become a civil Judge in State Courts, you must pass the Judicial Services Examination, which includes preliminary, main, and viva voce rounds. Eligibility requires an LLB degree and fluency in the local language. The age limit varies by State, generally set between 21 and 35 years, with relaxations for SC/ST/OBC candidates.


  • Higher Judicial Services (HJS): For promotion to District Judge or direct appointment as a District Judge, advocates must have at least seven years of practice. The examination process is similar to LJS, including a preliminary MCQ-based exam, a descriptive main exam, and an interview.

4. Appointment to Higher Courts

  • High Court Judge: To be eligible for appointment as a High Court Judge, you must be-
  1. an Indian citizen,
  2. hold an LLB or LLM, and
  3. have either served as a judicial officer for ten years
  4. or been an advocate of a High Court for ten years.

Appointments are made by the President of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and respective State Governors.


  • Supreme Court Judge: Eligibility includes-
  1. Being an Indian citizen,
  2. Holding an LLB or LLM, and
  3. Having served as a High Court Judge for five years or
  4. Practiced as an advocate in the High Court for ten years.

Alternatively, distinguished jurists can be appointed by the President. The salary for a Supreme Court Judge is approximately Rs. 2,50,000 per month, plus allowances.

Additional Tips for Aspiring Judges

  • Study the Constitution of India and relevant laws thoroughly.
  • Stay informed about the latest legal developments.
  • Participate in moot court competitions and legal debates to hone your skills.
  • Seek guidance and mentorship from experienced Judges and legal professionals.
  • Uphold high ethical standards and maintain integrity at all times.


Becoming a Judge in India requires a blend of academic excellence, practical experience, and a strong ethical foundation. It is a path that demands dedication, hard work, and a deep commitment to justice. By following the outlined steps and preparing diligently, aspiring Judges can embark on a rewarding career in the Indian Judiciary.

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What is the first step to becoming a Judge in India?

Earn a Bachelor's degree in any discipline, then pursue a law degree (LLB or integrated law course).

How do I gain practical experience after law school?

Engage in internships or apprenticeships at law firms, Courts, or legal aid organizations.

What are the Judicial Services Examinations?

Exams for aspiring Judges, including the Lower Judicial Services (LJS) and Higher Judicial Services (HJS) exams, involving preliminary, main, and interview rounds.

What qualifications are needed to become a High Court Judge?

Be an Indian citizen, hold an LLB or LLM, and have ten years of judicial service or advocacy experience in a High Court.

How can I stay updated on legal developments and enhance my skills?

Regularly study the Constitution and laws, participate in moot courts and legal debates, and seek mentorship from experienced legal professionals.

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