Maybe this is obvious. Yesterday it really hit me though. I was having lunch, networking with two ALJs (Administrative Law Judges) from the Public Utilities Commission, and they were explaining how most people, not even their families understand what they do. (I will post the Wikipedia definition at the end of this post.) One of them says he used to say he was a laywer for the government, but he says that was like two strikes against him – “Oh, God, you work for the government and are a lawyer.” It wasn’t winning him points at cocktail parties…In my mind, however, I was saying, “Cool – a lawyer for the government!” It didn’t strike me that most “normal” people may not think that sounds like a great job, and to me, an ALJ is an even more impressive job.
Yup, Law Geek, and as one of the people I was out with put it, a “Government Law Geek.” Well, guess we all have to fit in somewhere. Perhaps I have found my niche 🙂
An administrative law judge (ALJ) in the United States is an official who presides at an administrative trial-type hearing to resolve a dispute between a government agency and someone affected by a decision of that agency. The ALJ is the initial trier of fact and decision maker. ALJs can administer oaths, take testimony, rule on questions of evidence, and make factual and legal determinations. ALJ-controlled proceedings are comparable to a bench trial, but with simplified and less formal procedures.