Civil Judge
High Court Judges
Judicial Services Exam

How to Become a Judge

Here’s some deep insight on how to become a high court judge and its process.

February 02, 2022

By Tanu Kapoor

Career Expert & Blogger


How to Become a Judge in High Court in India?

The high court is the chief of the state judicial administration.

A person must have a citizenship of India.

  • Must have an LLB/LLM degree.
  • He/she should have held a judicial office in India for 10 years or he should have been an advocate of a high court for 10 years.

Those who want to become a High Court Judges need to qualify in the State Judicial Services Exam. These exams are done by the individual state governments.

To become a judge of a High Court the person must be an Indian citizen and he will be at least 45 years of age. It is a requirement that the person must be worked as a judge in any court in India in a time period not less than ten years. Also, the advocates of having ten years standing in any High Court are also eligible to become the high court judge.

In the exam, the questions related to the law will be asked. You can consult former candidates who had appeared in the exam. When you attend the interview you need to reply in a direct manner. They can give some time for you before answering. They will plan the accuracy of your replies.

The NJAC Bill has offered the ways to regulate appointments of the judges. The politics have no role in appointments. So we can state that anyone cannot become an HC Judge, there is need to satisfy the above conditions.


How to Become a Judge in Subordinate Court in India?

The courts at district levels are called subordinate courts.

  • The person must have an LLB/LLM degree.
  • He/she must have passed the exam by the state Public Service Commission.


Earning a Law Degree

The primary thing to start a career in Law as a Judge is to earn a Law degree. An undergraduate degree in Law or an LLB degree is a prerequisite for anyone to prosper in the field. A number of reputed law schools around the world offer LLB courses which marks the beginning of your journey to Judgeship. To get admission to prestigious Law schools in India, you need to qualify CLAT exam. But if you are planning to undertake legal studies abroad in top schools like Harvard, Yale, Oxford or Cambridge, you need to get a valid score in LSAT exam. Preparing for LSAT can be a daunting task but scoring good in the exam can surely guarantee you the best education in the legal domain.


Best Law Colleges in India

Earning a degree in LLB or LLM is the core and initial process of how to become a judge. Many colleges in India that build and train you for being a competent lawyer and judge. The following are a list of top law colleges in India:

  • National Law School of India University, Bangalore
  • National Law University, Delhi
  • NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • National Law University, Rajasthan
  • The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences
  • Symbiosis Law School. Pune
  • Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi
  • The Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab


Gaining Experience

While exploring the question of how to become a Judge, you must know that having work experience is imperative. In a courtroom, Judges are met with a variety of cases that sometimes can challenge them. The slightest carelessness due to inexperience can hamper the process of delivering justice. This is why highly competent candidates are chosen for the job. To ensure that a highly experienced professional is overseeing a case, the candidate has to meet a list of requirements to shoulder the responsibility as a Judge in a courtroom. Most of the Law professionals work as attorneys prior to attaining judgeship. A variety of fields are there that a lawyer can specialize in before applying for the exam for a judgeship. The specializations include Immigration Law, Civil Rights Law, Environmental Law, Corporate Law, Tax Law, and Intellectual Property Law.


Pass a Licensure Exam

Once you have got your bachelor’s in Law degree, the next thing is to qualify for the Judicial Services Exam or the PCS (J)-Provincial Civil Service-Judicial Examination. The competitive exam is taken by state authorities under the supervision of the respective high courts to appoint the members for the lower judiciary. The age limit for the exam varies between 21 to 35 years. The eligibility for the exam is to have a degree in LLB and work experience of a minimum of 7 years. The exam is conducted in three stages which involve Preliminary, Mains and interviews. The questions asked in the Preliminary exam are objective-based while the Mains paper is subjective in nature. In India, around 24 states conduct the exam with each state having its own eligibility criteria. Before applying for the exam, it is advisable to go through the requirements. The syllabus for the licensure exam covers subjective topics like Criminal Law, Penal Code, Constitution besides the topics on General Knowledge, Aptitude and Reasoning and Language.


Skills Required

The power and position to strike that gavel requires certain requisites. Educational qualifications and experience are not enough to become a Judge. Owing to the sensitivity of cases and intricacies involved in jurisprudence, the role of a judge is highly critical. The selection of candidates for the judgeship is administered by experts from the field who evaluate their profile on various parameters.

Besides meeting the requirements for the position, the candidate should possess the following skills:

  • Critical Reasoning Skills
  • Objective Analysis
  • Careful Listening Skills
  • Unbiased Decision Making
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Empathy
  • Writing Skills


The Salary of a judge depends on the type and the position of the judge. The initial salary for a district-level judge is INR 7,00,000. It further increases with experience and ranges from INR 1,44,840 – INR 2,24,100. The average monthly salary of a supreme court judge and a high court judge is INR 2.50 lakh.

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