Purpose of a Judge’s Biography
Professional bios for judges vary a great deal depending on the purpose of the bio. The main purpose most judge biographies is to provide information to attorneys who may be trying a case before them. Many states assemble collections of biographies for sitting judges for use law clerks, attorneys or anybody who may need the information they provide. The biographies are often based on questionnaires the judge completes. A judge may include their bio on their CV or as an introduction to authored works on law. It can also be used to introduce them as a public speaker. It establishes their credentials and experience in the field of law.
Content of the Judge’s Bio
Judges professional biographies tend to be more detailed than most other professional bios. At a minimum they will contain the year of their current appointment, previous judgeships, previous legal employment, the date they were admitted to the bar, the law school that granted their degree and information about their undergraduate studies. Legal organizations they are a member of are also included. The bio may also include what they expect of attorneys trying cases in their court. Works authored by the judge are sometimes included as well as any opinions they have written that established a precedent of note. Personal details vary from a couple of sentences to several paragraphs.
Basic Writing Criteria for Biographies of Judges
The length of the biography for judges varies depending on where it will be used. It may consist of anywhere from a few paragraphs to several pages. It is written in the third person using a narrative style. Paragraphs should be brief to make them easy to scan. Biographies should be concise and use easy to understand language. When possible avoid legal jargon in the biography. The professional biography of a judge must be free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Structure of the Biography
The biography for judges will usually follow one of two basic formats:
- Biography is written in chronological order beginning with when they became interested in law, progressing through their academic career, passing the bar, employment in the legal field up to their appointment as judge. It may end with membership in legal organizations and some personal details.
- Biography begins with their current appointment:
- Previous Legal employment beginning with the most recent position
- Education beginning with the most recent school attended
- Awards, special recognition and membership in legal organizations
- Any written work published related to law
- Personal information
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