How to Become a TV Judge

judge image by dinostock from

Things You'll Need

  • Law degree
  • Career books
  • Agent phone number
  • Judge gavel
  • Judicial robes
  • TV cameras
  • Scripts

Have you ever watched Judge Judy or the People's Court and thought "I could do that?" Well, chances are, you could--it just takes some time and hard work. Being a TV judge means not only having all the judicial qualifications, but also the ability to entertain. TV judges also tend to preside over civil cases, as opposed to giving a verdict on criminal cases.

Become an attorney by attending law school for three years to receive your Juris Doctor (JD), and passing the bar exam of your chosen state. Then gain experience by practicing law in your state.

Watch a lot of TV judges. See how they handle the cases. Consider what you would do in those situations. Get a sense of what makes good court TV and what isn't interesting. Attend a taping if you can.

Apply for a judgeship when one opens in an area of your preference. Keep in mind where TV shows are filmed and consider getting appointed in an area near studios.

Work hard at your judgeship. Take continuing education classes. Interact with the media when you can. Focus on your strengths and develop a fair, but interesting, personality.

Find an agent. Once you have established your judicial credentials, approach an agent. They will help you pitch your ideas to producers, find welcoming studios, and generally help you focus on your goal.

Pay attention to your show. Once you have it, don't forget to focus on what would make good TV, what helps people understand the law, and what is entertaining. Remember, you're not only entertaining, you're upholding legal standards.


  • Remember that becoming a judge takes political clout--don't make too many enemies.


  • "Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining", Sheindlin, Judy: 1996

About the Author

A blogger and writer since 2001, Zoe Holmes' work has appeared in "The Lincoln Journal Star," "PiQ Magazine" and on She has written about everything from comic books to hip-hop and how-to guides. Holmes holds a Bachelor of Arts in media studies from Macalester College.

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