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Status of Magistrate Judge Positions and Appointments — Judicial Business 2021

During this fiscal year, 76 appointments of full-time magistrate judges were made, including 40 new appointments and 36 reappointments. Seven individuals were appointed to part-time magistrate judge positions, including one new appointment and six reappointments. In addition, 85 retired magistrate judges were recalled to service under 28 U.S.C. § 636(h).

The following information is provided pursuant to the reporting requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 604(d)(3). The average age of new appointees to full-time magistrate judge positions was 50 years. New full-time appointees had been members of the bar for an average of 23 years at the time of appointment. Of the new full-time magistrate judges, at the time of their appointments, 15 had been assistant United States attorneys, 14 had been in private practice, 2 had been law clerks, 2 had been assistant federal public defenders, 1 had been a part-time United States magistrate judge, 1 had been a state court judge, 1 had been an administrative law judge, 1 had been both an assistant United States attorney and a major general in the United States Air Force Reserve, 1 had been a pro se staff attorney, 1 had been a senior counsel, and 1 had been a deputy superintendent in state government.

Through September 2021, the Judicial Conference authorized 561 full-time magistrate judge positions, 25 part-time positions, and 2 combination clerk/magistrate judge positions.

For data on magistrate judge positions, see Table 12.

Table 12
U.S. Magistrate Judge Positions Authorized
2017 - 2021
Year Total1 Full Time Part Time Combination2 Recalled Judges
2017 576 541 32 3 75
2018 579 547 29 3 85
2019 581 549 29 3 90
2020 585 555 27 3 95
2021 588 561 25 2 85
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.