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Presiding Judge

Below you will find the details for the position including any supplementary documentation and questions you should review before applying for the opening.  To apply for the position, please click the Apply for this Job link/button.

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Position Information

Position Information

Posting Title Presiding Judge
Job Requisition Number COA077570
Position Number 100631
Job Type Full-Time
Division Name Municipal Court
Minimum Qualifications

Education and/or Equivalent Experience:

    Graduation from an accredited school of law plus two (2) years of experience as a practicing attorney in the State of Texas.

    Residency in the City of Austin for a period of not less than two (2) years immediately preceding appointment is required.

Licenses or Certifications Required: Member in good standing State Bar of Texas

Notes to Applicants

The City Council will appoint a Presiding Judge to the Municipal Court for the 2018 – 2022 term.

Please note that while this position is not covered under Municipal Civil Service, it will supervise employees who are cover by the City’s Municipal Civil Service Rules. Click Here for the City’s Municipal Civil Service Rules

In addition to the Essential Functions listed in the Duties, Functions, and Responsibilities Section, this position will also perform the following:

  • Advise defendants of their constitutional and Vienna Convention rights.
  • Explain general procedures of bond.
  • Determine if indigent defendants wish to request a court-appointed attorney.
  • Inform defendants of immigration (ICE) holds.
  • Provide magistration of defendants in custody at Brackenridge or other area hospitals.
  • Review requests for personal recognizance (“PR”) bonds.
  • Set conditions of bond such as GPS/ankle monitors, ignition interlocks, SCRAM alcohol monitoring devices, counseling, drug and alcohol testing, stay away and no contact orders.
  • Review and issue Emergency Protective Orders.
  • Magistrate defendants too ill to be transported to the courtroom in the detox or medical posts.
  • Take pleas and set up payment or community service plans for defendants with Class C citations.
  • Remand defendants when appropriate to satisfy outstanding fees and fines on Class C matters.

Additional Requirement:

Please prepare a document addressing the following:

‘’The City Council recently passed Resolution 20171214-060 outlining their goals and objectives for the Municipal Court. Please describe how you see your role as a Municipal Judge in implementing these goals.’’

Attach this document to your application in the Optional & Required Applicant Documents section by selecting “Other Document”.

Note: Your application will not be complete unless this document is attached.

Pay Range

Salary is set by the City Council at time of appointment.


Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Job Close Date
Type of Posting External
Department Municipal Court
Regular/Temporary Regular
Grant Funded or Pooled Position Not Applicable
Category Professional
Location 700 E. 7th, Austin, TX 78701
Preferred Qualifications

Two years experience in criminal law preferred.

Duties, Functions and Responsibilities

Purpose: Performs the oversight and managerial duties of the Austin Municipal Court set forth in the Austin City Code, Article 2, Section 2-10-21, applicable Council Resolutions, and any other duties required by law.

Duties, Functions and Responsibilities:

Essential duties and functions, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include the following:

  1. Represents the court on various community boards and commissions. Attends Judicial Committee meetings and City Council meetings.
  2. Identifies legislative issues affecting the court and provides assistance to city staff.
  3. Adopts rules for the orderly trial of a case in the municipal court.
  4. Develops educational opportunities for the judges and provides updates on changes in laws or policies pertaining to court.
  5. Evaluates the performance of each judge on criteria other than a decision made in a judicial proceeding and forward the evaluation to the Council.
  6. Assigns municipal judges to exchange benches and to act for each other in pending proceedings.
  7. Provides input for the Municipal Court budget and business planning. Monitors and approves expenditures for the judiciary.
  8. Works with the presiding judges of the Travis District and County Courts to develop mutually agreed policies and procedures.
  9. Reviews and responds to requests for information or complaints received from the public, law enforcement and media. Responds to written correspondence directed to the judiciary.
  10. Maintains a central docket for the cases within the municipal court’s jurisdiction. Provides assistance to other judges during dockets as needed.
  11. Reviews requests by local non-profit organizations to be included on the court’s community service roster.
  12. Performs all duties of an Associate Judge.

Responsibilities- Supervision and/or Leadership Exercised: Responsible for the full range of supervisory activities including training and evaluation of judges as well as oversight of court management and operations.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Must possess required knowledge, skills, abilities and experience and be able to explain and demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodations, that the essential functions of the job can be performed.

  • Knowledge of judicial procedures.
  • Knowledge of civil and criminal law.
  • Knowledge of municipal codes and state laws.
  • Knowledge of applicable processes, techniques, and methods.
  • Knowledge of Federal, State, Local laws, and ordinances related to the jurisdiction of Municipal Court.
  • Knowledge of city practice, policy, and procedures.
  • Knowledge of supervisory and managerial techniques and principles.
  • Skill in effective oral and written communication.
  • Skill in handling conflict and uncertain situations.
  • Skill in handling multiple tasks and prioritizing.
  • Skill in using computers and related software applications.
  • Skill in data analysis and problem solving.
  • Ability to organize, interpret and apply legal principles to complex legal problems.
  • Ability to direct and assign the work of others.
  • Ability to supervise personnel.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of criminal/civil law.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective communication and working relationships with city employees and the public.
  • Ability to work with frequent interruptions and changes in priorities.
  • Ability to train others.

Does this job require a criminal background investigation? This position requires a criminal background investigation

City of Austin is committed to compliance with the American Disabilities Act. If you require reasonable accommodation during the application process or have a question regarding an essential job function, please call (512) 974-3210 or TTY (512) 974-2445.

Information For City Employees: If you are an employee within the department, are in good standing and meet both the minimum and preferred qualifications, then you will receive an initial interview.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * This position requires Graduation from an accredited school of law plus two (2) years of experience as a practicing attorney in the state of Texas. Residency in the City of Austin for a period of not less than two (2) immediately preceding appointment. Do you meet these requirements?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  2. * How many years of experience do you have practicing criminal law?

    (Open Ended Question)

  3. * Have you first chaired pre-trial hearings?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  4. * How many pre-trial hearings have you first (1st) chaired?

    (Open Ended Question)

  5. * Have you appeared before the Austin Municipal Court or another Municipal Court?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  6. * Describe any experience you have had appearing before the Austin Municipal Court or another municipal court?

    (Open Ended Question)

  7. * Are you board certified in criminal law?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  8. * List any significant criminal law CLE's you have attended in the last two years.

    (Open Ended Question)

  9. * Do you have any experience working with pro se defendants in criminal matters?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  10. * Describe any experience you have working with pro se defendants in criminal matters.

    (Open Ended Question)

  11. * Do you have experience examining probable cause?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  12. * Describe your experience examining probable cause.

    (Open Ended Question)

  13. * Describe your familiarity of criminal procedure and the penal code.

    (Open Ended Question)

  14. * Have you 1st chaired any criminal jury trials?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  15. * How many criminal jury trials have you 1st chaired?

    (Open Ended Question)

  16. * Have you 1st chaired any criminal bench trials?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  17. * How many criminal bench trials have you 1st chaired?

    (Open Ended Question)

  18. * Describe your knowledge and training with the Judicial Cannons of Conduct as applicable to municipal court judges.

    (Open Ended Question)

  19. * If selected for this position, do you intend to practice criminal law outside of Travis County?
    • Yes.
    • No.
  20. * If identified as a top candidate, do you agree to a Criminal Background Investigation (CBI)?
    • Yes
    • No
  21. * The City Charter states that a judge of the municipal court "shall have resided in the city for a period of not less than two (2) years immediately preceding his or her appointment." As of March 8, 2018, will you have resided in the City of Austin for 2 consecutive years?
    • Yes
    • No

Optional & Required Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Other Document
Optional Documents