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Judicial Salaries -- Doing More Work for Less Pay

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1985
6 pages
Nationwide trends in the salaries of judges indicate that the inflation-adjusted salaries of trial and appellate judges are declining.
Studies also indicate that judges' salaries are not commensurate with attorneys' incomes. A statistical analysis of State supreme court judges' salaries indicates that the decisions of State legislatures to grant salary increases are greatly influenced by the degree of inflation. It was found that other factors such as the health of the State's economy, and the volume of appeals filed had little or no impact on judges' salaries. The salaries of the U.S. Supreme Court justices have also declined in real terms as much as those of State justices. Salary trends for trial and intermediate appellate court judges show a comparable decline to those of State judges as well. Conclusions suggest that able attorneys are reluctant to become judges, and some judges find it necessary to leave the bench for higher pay. Tabular data and 15 references are provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1985