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What does an Administrative Law Judge do?

Learn all about Administrative Law Judge duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become an Administrative Law Judge.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

An administrative law judge (ALJ) is a judicial officer of a governmental agency who presides over hearings and renders decisions in administrative law proceedings. Administrative law judges are typically appointed by the head of the agency, but may also be appointed by a court.

Administrative Law Judge job duties include:

  • Presiding over administrative hearings
  • Conducting examinations and taking testimony
  • Considering evidence and arguments from both sides
  • Researching the law and applicable regulations
  • Drafting decisions or recommended orders
  • Holding conferences with the parties to discuss procedural or evidentiary matters
  • Managing cases efficiently and effectively
  • Maintaining a courteous and professional demeanor
  • Ensuring that all parties are treated fairly and equally

Administrative Law Judge Job Requirements

An Administrative Law Judge is a person who presides over hearings and makes decisions in administrative law cases. They are usually appointed by the head of an administrative agency, but may also be elected in some jurisdictions. In order to be an Administrative Law Judge, one must have a law degree and be licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction in which they will preside. Many Administrative Law Judges also have experience as attorneys or other professionals in the field of administrative law.

Administrative Law Judge Skills

  • Courtroom skills
  • Administrative law
  • Legal research
  • Legal writing
  • Analytical skills
  • Oral advocacy
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Multitasking
  • Computer skills

Related: Top Administrative Law Judge Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become an Administrative Law Judge

An administrative law judge is a professional who presides over hearings and makes decisions in administrative law. Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. It includes regulations, adjudications, or other administrative actions that have the force and effect of law.

To become an administrative law judge, you must first complete a four-year college degree. After that, you must complete a three-year law degree from an accredited law school. Once you have your law degree, you must pass your state's bar exam in order to become licensed to practice law.

Once you are licensed to practice law, you can begin working as an attorney in private practice or for a government agency. If you want to become an administrative law judge, you should try to gain experience handling cases that involve administrative law. You can also attend seminars or workshops on administrative law, which will give you the opportunity to learn more about this area of the law.

In order to be appointed as an administrative law judge, you must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Once you are confirmed, you will serve a term of seven years. After that, you can be reappointed to serve additional terms.

Related: Administrative Law Judge Resume Example

Related: Administrative Law Judge Interview Questions (With Example Answers)