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Handbook on State Judicial Salaries

NCJ Number
Date Published
80 pages
Recognizing that inadequate judicial salaries may lower judicial quality and may cause experienced judges to resign and return to private practice, the American Bar Association (ABA) suggests strategies that can be employed to insure judges receive adequate compensation.
The ABA Committee on State Judicial Salaries has determined that there are two basic steps essential to any successful campaign to raise judicial salaries: formulate meaningful justifications; and present these justifications in a persuasive manner to legislators. Judicial salaries are analyzed in conjunction with certain economic indicators, by comparing judges' salaries with the salaries of those in comparable positions, by citing examples of judges who have resigned due to low salaries, and by noting that existing salary levels have contributed to the declining economic and social status of judges. Efforts to convince legislators to raise judicial salaries are typically led by judges themselves, judge organizations, and bar associations. It is also important, however, to involve the public in legislative efforts to raise judicial salaries. Automatic salary increases for judges are recommended that can be tied to such objective criteria as the consumer price index or the salary levels of other State government employees. Detailed supplemental data and information on judicial salaries are contained in 20 appendixes. Tables.


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