How to become a High Court Judge [Step-by-Step] Guide

The High Court is the second most important court after the Supreme Court according to the constitution of India. High Court is below the Supreme Court and above the Subordinate Courts according to the authorities and constitution power it has.

High Court is the highest court of the state and It has the constitutional power to supervise the others court of the state. Adjudication by the district level Subordinate Courts could be challenged in the state High Court.

The first ever High Court was established in 1862 at the time of British rule. At that time the British set up three High Courts in India in the state of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras.


Who can apply? Eligibility Criteria to become a High Court Judge

To be an applicant of High Court judge these two things are mandatory.

[1] Candidate must hold the Citizenship of India

[2] He/she should have been a judge in any of the state Subordinate Court for at least 10 years i.e. a candidate must hold the judicial office for 10 years in the territory of India.


    He/she should have been a practising lawyer (Advocate) in any of the Indian state High Court for 10 years minimum.

There is no minimum age defined in the constitution of India to become a High Court judge.

Down the line, you will find another option (shortcut) to get eligible for High Court judge.

You must read: Education and skills required to become a Judge


How to become a High Court Judge [Step-by-Step] Procedure

[Step 1] High School

This is a very first step towards becoming a High Court judge like others career, therefore you have to pass the 12th standard exam to move further to the next step (Step 2). You can opt any of the stream (Arts/Commerce/Science) in your high school.

[Step 2] Law Entrance Exam

Prepare for the CLAT to get admission in India’s topmost and finest law colleges. Other than CLAT, there are many law entrance exam conducted by various universities you can also prepare for that.

Top law colleges and entrance exams to get entry into the LLB program.

[Step 3] Become a lawyer

In order to become a High Court judge, you have to complete your bachelor of law degree.

Know how to become a lawyer a complete guide to achieve your dream.

From there you have two option to become a High Court Judge. You can select either of one path according to preference.

{Path 1}

[Step 4] Judge in Subordinate Court 

To be appointed as a judge in High Court you have to serve judicial office for 10 years in the territory of India.

Related: Procedure to become a Judge in Subordinate Court.


[Step 4] Advocate

To get promotion only on the basis of experience you must have minimum 10 years of experience as a practising lawyer (Advocate) in any of the state High Court.

Related: How to become an Advocate

How to become a lawyer in Supreme Court of India

{Path 2}

[Step 4] Higher Judicial Service Exam

Each state High Court organises their own entrance exam to fulfil the vacant post of judges.

To get eligible for Higher Judicial Service Exam you also need some experience, and you have been a law practitioner in any of the Indian Territory courts. This path required less experience than the above path {Path 1}. Usually, you required 7 years of experience as an advocate.

By following this path, you need 7 years of experience to get eligible for the vacant post of judges in High Court. But the problem of choosing this path is the Higher Judicial Service Exam is not regularly held. Otherwise, this is the best path to get directly promoted from an advocate to a High Court judge.

[Step 5] High Court Judge

After completing the above 4 mention steps successfully, you will be get appointed as a High Court Judge of any respective state of India.


Who Appoint High Court Judges?

State High Court consist of one Chief justice and other High Court Judges.  Thus the strength of judges in High court is: 1 (Chief justice) + X (other High Court Judges)

Constitution of India does not specify the strength of judges (no. of judges) in a state High Court.

X: Value of x can be varied according to the workload on that High Court. The number of judges in a particular state High Court decided by President of India.

Judges and chief justice of High court are appointed by the President of India, but the procedure is different.

High Court Chief Justice is appointed by the President after consultation with Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Governor of that state.

Chief Justice = President + CJI + Governor

High Court judges are appointed by the President of India after consultation with the Chief Justice of that High Court and state Governor.

High Court Judges = President + Chief Justice + Governor

The Judge of High Court after ending its tenure can only practice law in Supreme Court or in others state High Court. So they cannot go to the Subordinates court at the district level.

Know the Steps of becoming an Honourable Judge of Supreme Court of India 

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