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Appointments of Magistrate Judges

This year, 90 appointments of full-time magistrate judges were made—42 new appointments and 48 reappointments. Of the 42 new appointments, 2 were for newly created positions. Eleven individuals were appointed to part-time magistrate judge positions, 9 of them by reappointment. In addition, 66 retired magistrate judges were recalled to service under 28 U.S.C. § 636(h), with 1 of them serving on a recall basis in more than one district.

Table 13
U.S. Magistrate Judge Positions Authorized
2008 - 2012
Positions Authorized
Year Total1 Full Time Part Time Combination2 Recalled Judges
2008 559 514 43 2 38
2009 567 523 41 3 49
2010 571 527 41 3 67
2011 574 531 40 3 70
2012 573 531 39 3 67
1 Total does not include recalled magistrate judges.
2 According to 28 U.S.C. § 631(c), with the approval of the Judicial Conference, a clerk or deputy clerk of a court may be appointed as a part-time magistrate judge.

The average age of new appointees to full-time magistrate judge positions was 50 years. The average age of new appointees to part-time magistrate judge positions was 62 years. New full-time appointees had on average 22 years of bar membership; new part-time magistrate judges had on average 28 years of bar membership. At the time of their appointments, 21 new full-time appointees had been in private practice, 6 had been assistant U.S. attorneys, 3 had been law clerks, 2 had been state court judges, 2 had been immigration judges, 2 had been part-time federal magistrate judges, 2 had been city attorneys, and 1 each had been a corporate attorney, a federal public defender, an assistant federal public defender, and a U.S. attorney.

For 2012, the Judicial Conference had authorized 531 full-time magistrate judge positions, 39 part-time magistrate judge positions, and 3 combination clerk/magistrate judge positions.

For data on magistrate judge positions authorized by the Judicial Conference since 2008, see Table 13.