Table 5.3

Qualifications of Judges of State Appellate Courts and General Trial Courts


  Residency requirement  
  State Local Minimum age Legal credentials
FIPS State or other
jurisdiction
A T A T A T A T
01Alabama1 yr.1 yr.1 yr.1810 years state bar5 years state bar
02Alaska5 yrs.5 yrs.8 years practice5 years practice
04Arizona5/10 yrs. (a)5 yrs.(b)1 yr.3030(c)(d)
05Arkansas8 years practice6 years licensed in state
06California10 years state bar10 years state bar
08Colorado5 years state bar5 years state bar
09ConnecticutLicensed attorneyMember of the bar
10Delaware"Learned in law""Learned in law"
12Florida✓(f)✓(g)10 years state bar5 years state bar
13Georgia3 yrs.must reside within court circuit307 years state bar7 years state bar
15Hawaii3010 years state bar10 years state bar
16Idaho2 yrs.1 yr.3010 years state bar10 years state bar
17IllinoisLicensed attorneyLaw degree
18Indiana1 yr.10 years state bar (h)Licensed attorney
19IowaLicensed attorneyAdmitted to state bar
20Kansas5 yrs.303010 years active and continuous practice (i)5 years state bar
21Kentucky2 yrs.2 yrs.2 yrs.2 yrs.8 years state bar and licensed attorney8 years state bar
22Louisiana1 yrs.1 yrs.1 yrs.1 yrs.10 years state bar8 years state bar
23Maine"Learned in law"1 year state bar
24Maryland5 yrs.5 yrs.6 mos.6 mos.3030State bar memberState bar member
25MassachusettsState bar member
26MichiganState bar member and 5 years practiceState bar member
27Minnesota30 days30 days30 daysLicensed attorneyLicensed attorney
28Mississippi5 yrs.5 yrs.✓(j)30265 years state bar5 years practice
29Missouri9 yrs. (k)3 yrs. (k)1 yr. (k)3030State bar memberState bar member
30Montana2 yrs.2 yrs.5 years state bar5 years state bar
31Nebraska3 yrs.30305 years practice5 years practice
32Nevada2 yrs.2 yrs.2525State bar member (l)2 years state bar member and 10 years practice
33New Hampshire10 years practiceState bar member
34New Jersey(m)(m)Admitted to practice in state for at least 10 years10 years practice of law
35New Mexico3 yrs.3 yrs.353510 years practice6 years active practice
36New York1810 years state bar10 years state bar
37North Carolina(n)State bar memberState bar member
38North DakotaLicense to practice lawState bar member
39Ohio6 years practice6 years practice
40Oklahoma(o)1 yr.305 years state bar(p)
41Oregon3 yrs.3 yrs.1 yr.State bar memberState bar member
42Pennsylvania1 yr.1 yr.21State bar memberState bar member
44Rhode Island21License to practice lawState bar member
45South Carolina5 yrs.5 yrs.(q)32328 years state bar8 years state bar
46South DakotaState bar memberState bar member
47Tennessee5 yrs.5 yrs.✓(r)1 yr.35/30 (s)30License to practice lawLicense to practice law
48Texas2 yrs.3525(t)(u)
49Utah5 yrs.3 yrs.3025State bar memberState bar member
50Vermont5 years state bar5 years state bar
51Virginia5 years state bar5 years state bar
53Washington1 yr.1 yr.1 yr.1 yr.State bar memberState bar member
54West Virginia5 yrs.303010 years state bar5 years state bar
55Wisconsin28 days28 days28 days28 days185 years state bar5 years state bar
56Wyoming3 yrs.2 yrs.30289 years practiceLaw degree
__Dist. of ColumbiaN.A.N.A.90 days90 days5 years practice5 years state bar (v)
72Puerto Rico5 yrs.10 years practice7 years state bar

Source:

National Center for State Courts, July 2022.

Key:

A — Judges of courts of last resort and intermediate appellate courts.
T — Judges of general trial courts.
✓ — Provision; length of time not specified.
✕ — No specific provision.
N.A. — Not applicable.

Footnotes:

(a) For court of appeals, five years.
(b) No local residency requirement stated for Supreme Court. Local residency of 3 years required for Court of Appeals.
(c) Supreme Court- ten years state bar, Court of Appeals - five years state bar.
(d) Admitted to the practice of law in Arizona for five years.
(e) Court of Appeals minimum age is 30.
(f) The candidate must be a resident of the district at the time of the original appointment.
(g) Circuit court judge must reside within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
(h) In the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, five years service as a general jurisdiction judge may be substituted.
(i) Relevant legal experience, such as being a member of a law faculty or sitting as a judge, may qualify under the 10 year requirement.
(j) Must reside within the district.
(k) At the appellate level must have been a state voter for nine years. At the general trial court level must have been a state voter for three years and resident of the circuit for 1 year.
(l) Minimum of two years state bar member and at least 15 years of legal practice.
(m) Restricted Superior court judgeships require residence within the particular county of assignment at time of appointment and reappointment.
(n) Resident judges of the Superior Court are required to have local residency, but special judges are not.
(o) District and associate judges must be state residents for six months if elected, and associate judges must be county residents.
(p) District Court: judges must be a state bar member for four years or a judge of court record. Associate judges must be a state bar member for two years or a judge of a court of record.
(q) Circuit judges must be county electors and residents of the circuit.
(r) Supreme Court: One justice from each of three divisions and two seats at large; no more than two may be from any grand division. Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals: Must reside in the grand division served.
(s) 35 for Supreme Court, 30 for Court of Appeals & Court of Criminal Appeals.
(t) Ten years practicing law or a lawyer and judge of a court of record at least 10 years.
(u) District Court: judges must have been a practicing lawyer or a judge of a court in this state, or both combined, for four years.
(v) Superior Court: Judge must also be an active member of the unified District of Columbia bar and have been engaged, during the five years immediately preceding the judicial nomination, in the active practice of law as an attorney in the District, been on the faculty of a law school in the District, or been employed by either the by the United States or District of Columbia government.