Steps to Become a Judge in India: A Comprehensive Guide


Becoming a judge in India is a dream career for many law graduates who aspire to uphold justice, interpret the law, and make a difference in society. However, the path to becoming a judge is not easy and requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance. In this guide, we will outline the steps to become a judge in India, the qualifications required, the selection process, and other essential information for aspiring judicial candidates.

Qualifications Required

  1. Educational Qualifications: To become a judge in India, one must have a degree in law from a recognized university. A Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree is the minimum requirement, while many judges also hold a Master of Laws (LLM) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law.

  2. Work Experience: In most cases, candidates are required to have a minimum number of years of experience practicing law as an advocate. The exact number of years may vary depending on the specific judicial position.

  3. Age Limit: The age limit to become a judge in India is typically between 35 to 45 years, with some relaxation for candidates from reserved categories.

  4. Nationality: Candidates must be Indian citizens to be eligible for judicial positions in India.

Steps to Become a Judge in India

  1. Clear the Judicial Services Exam: The first step to becoming a judge in India is to clear the Judicial Services Exam conducted by the respective State Public Service Commissions or the High Court. This exam comprises multiple stages, including a preliminary exam, a mains exam, and a viva voce (interview) round.

  2. Join the Bar: Before becoming a judge, candidates often start their legal careers by joining the bar and practicing as advocates. Gaining experience in trial courts, appellate courts, and the High Court can be beneficial for aspiring judges.

  3. Gain Experience: It is essential for aspiring judges to gain practical experience in the field of law by handling various types of cases, conducting legal research, drafting petitions, and appearing in court on behalf of clients.

  4. Build a Good Reputation: A judge is expected to possess impeccable integrity, ethical conduct, and a strong sense of justice. Building a good reputation as a lawyer can be beneficial for those aspiring to become judges.

  5. Network with Judges and Legal Professionals: Networking with experienced judges, senior advocates, and legal professionals can provide aspiring judges with valuable insights, mentorship, and guidance on pursuing a judicial career.

Selection Process

  1. Judicial Services Exam: The selection process for becoming a judge in India primarily involves clearing the Judicial Services Exam conducted by the State Public Service Commissions or the High Court. Candidates are required to qualify each stage of the exam to progress to the next round.

  2. Interview Round: After clearing the mains exam, candidates are called for a viva voce or interview round where their knowledge of law, analytical skills, communication abilities, and overall suitability for a judicial position are assessed.

  3. Merit-Based Selection: Candidates are selected for judicial positions based on their performance in the Judicial Services Exam, their work experience, academic qualifications, and overall merit.

  4. Training: Once selected, candidates undergo training at judicial academies to familiarize themselves with the procedural aspects of the law, judicial ethics, and other essential skills required to fulfill the responsibilities of a judge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the difference between a judge and a magistrate?
  2. A judge presides over higher courts such as the District Court, High Court, and Supreme Court, while a magistrate oversees lower courts and handles less serious criminal and civil cases.

  3. Can a law graduate directly become a judge in India without practicing as a lawyer?

  4. In most cases, candidates are required to have practical experience as advocates before becoming eligible for judicial positions in India.

  5. Is there an upper age limit to become a judge in India?

  6. Yes, there is typically an upper age limit of around 35 to 45 years for candidates aspiring to become judges, with some relaxation for reserved categories.

  7. What are the qualities required to become a successful judge?

  8. A successful judge should possess qualities such as impartiality, integrity, analytical thinking, strong communication skills, empathy, and a deep understanding of the law.

  9. Are there any specific exams for becoming a judge in the Supreme Court of India?

  10. To become a judge in the Supreme Court of India, candidates are usually appointed from among experienced judges serving in one of the High Courts in the country.

  11. Can foreign nationals become judges in India?

  12. No, foreign nationals are not eligible to become judges in India as candidates must be Indian citizens to hold judicial positions.

  13. How can aspiring judges prepare for the Judicial Services Exam?

  14. Aspiring judges can prepare for the Judicial Services Exam by studying relevant law subjects, practicing previous years’ question papers, taking mock tests, and honing their legal knowledge and analytical skills.

  15. What are the career prospects for judges in India?

  16. Judges in India have promising career prospects, with opportunities for professional growth, promotions to higher courts, and the chance to contribute significantly to the justice system.

  17. Do judges require specialized training before assuming their roles?

  18. Yes, judges undergo specialized training at judicial academies to equip themselves with the necessary skills and knowledge required to adjudicate cases impartially and effectively.

  19. Can judges work independently or do they require supervision?

    • Judges work independently and are entrusted with the responsibility of interpreting the law, delivering judgments, and upholding justice without external interference or supervision.


Becoming a judge in India is a prestigious and challenging career path that requires a combination of education, experience, dedication, and ethical conduct. By following the steps outlined in this guide, aspiring judicial candidates can prepare themselves for a successful career in the judiciary, where they can uphold the rule of law, protect the rights of citizens, and contribute to the administration of justice in the country.