How to Become a Justice of the Peace in Rhode Island

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A justice of the peace is a judge that has jurisdiction over specific types of cases in court. Usually a justice of the peace is known for performing legal marriages in a specific state, though they sometimes do other minor legal acts like taking oaths or attesting legal signatures. Becoming a justice of the peace in Rhode Island requires passing the bar exam for the state of Rhode Island and gaining court experience.

Step 1

Obtain a four-year degree. A degree in philosophy or political science is ideal, but is not required at the undergraduate level. A justice of the peace must have an education similar to a lawyer, so a specific major is not required at the undergraduate level.

Step 2

Obtain a Juris Doctor degree from a law school. Like lawyers, a justice of the peace must have a law degree. A justice of the peace is a judge and must know law well before being able to work in the field.

Step 3

Take the Rhode Island BAR Exam. Applications and current deadlines are available on the Rhode Island state website under the Supreme Court. The tests are given during February and July by the Supreme Court.

Step 4

Gain experience in court. Working as a lawyer or working with a lawyer are common ways of gaining experience. All justice of the peace candidates must have legal experience.

Step 5

Apply for a justice of the peace position when one is available. A justice of the peace job is not always available because there are a limited number of state justice of the peace positions.

References

About the Author

Helen Jain has been writing online articles since December 2009 for various websites. She has studied English and psychology and hopes to get a Ph.D. in English in the future.

Photo Credits

  • Wedding bouquet the bride on background of wedding dress image by Aliaksandr Zabudzko from Fotolia.com