Maryland Courts

Qualifications of a Judge

The qualifications of a judge fall into two quite distinct categories: (1) legal and (2) professional and personal.

The Constitution of Maryland specifies those in the first category (Art. I, § 12; Art. IV, § 2). The legal qualifications for appointed judges are:

  1. U.S. and Maryland citizenship.
  2. Registration to vote in State elections at the time of appointment.
  3. Residence in the State for at least five years.
  4. Residence, for at least six months next preceding appointment, in the geographic area where the vacancy exists.
  5. Age of at least 30 at the time of appointment.
  6. Membership in the Maryland Bar.

The Constitution also speaks generally of the second category of qualifications, by providing that those selected for judgeships shall be lawyers "most distinguished for integrity, wisdom and sound legal knowledge."