How to apply?

You can now apply to the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme through a new improved online application form. If you have previously submitted an application to the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme, your details will already be stored in the new database and you will be able to access your account and submit a new application by resetting your password. To reset your password, please click on the online application form, select ‘Forgotten your password’ and enter the email address that you previously used to register to the scheme. You will receive an email with a link to reset your password.

Please contact the Workshadowing Team if you incur any technical problems or have feedback on the content, design or navigation of the application form.

Deciding which type of judge to shadow

When choosing the type of judge to shadow, we recommend that you think about the type of judicial appointment for which you are most likely to apply or the type of work that interests you most.

Please note that we are not able to arrange shadowing for more than one type of judge in the same application, and the all practitioners will require a minimum of seven years post qualification legal experience to apply.

Please note: that all Judicial Work Shadowing placements in the High Court have been suspended until further notice and for War Pension Tribunal. Should you be planning to apply for a High Court appointment please consider shadowing a Circuit Judge.

Shadowing specialist work

You have the opportunity to shadow:

  • a district judge at the Principal Registry of the Family Division
  • a circuit or district  judge in the Civil Court
  • a district judge who sits as a Costs Judge
  • a circuit judge at a Crown Court (The Old Bailey is not included)

Please indicate your preference to shadow specialist work in the box asking for preferences of the type of work you would like to see.

Making further applications

You can only apply to shadow one judicial office-holder per application . You can shadow the same type of judge more than once, but in this case you are asked to limit applications to one per year. However, after you have completed a placement , you may submit a further application to shadow a different type of judge within the same year. Due to the popularity of the scheme we have to limit placements to two per applicant, per year.

Completing the online application form

Please ensure you read the form carefully and complete all fields with the correct information (including your membership number of the relevant professional body and the full date (month, day and year) when you qualified or called to the Bar, since failure to do so will result in your application being deleted.

Please ensure you regularly log onto the database to check the process of your application.

Initial Registration

New Applicants

If you have not applied to the scheme before, you must complete an initial registration form to ensure that you are eligible to apply before you are able to complete an application form.

When completing the registration form you will be asked to select a username and password to allow you to log in to your account to check the progress of your application or to submit further applications in the future.

Equality of opportunity: applicants are required to complete this form before the application can be processed. This information will be used for statistical purposes only, to monitor and evaluate the scheme. It does not form part of the application process, nor will it be passed on to the Judge, or court/tribunal in which you shadow.

Please ensure you read the form carefully and complete all fields with the correct information (including your membership number of the relevant professional body and the full date (month, day and year) when you qualified or called to the Bar, since failure to do so will result in your application being deleted.

Repeat applications

If you have applied to the scheme in the past under the old application system, you should go straight to the log in screen and enter the email address that you used to apply to the scheme previously. You should then click ‘forgotten password’, if the system recognises your email you will be sent an email with instructions how to reset your password.

If the above step are unsuccessful, you should contact Judicial Office on 020 7073 1779.

Personal Details

In this section you will be asked to input your personal details, including contact details.

You should ensure that you give an up to date email address that you check frequently as all communications relating your application will be communicated to you at this email address. You will be required to respond to certain emails within a stated time frame and in the event that a response is not received your application will be cancelled and you may have to apply again.

This system has been put in place to ensure that the judges’ time and the courts’ and Tribunals’ resources are utilised efficiently.


You must read and tick the box under the declaration to confirm that you agree with all the conditions if a placement is arranged. This includes a confidentiality agreement whereby you agree that you will not disclose any information about the cases to any third party, during or after the shadowing has been completed.

Application process

For shadowing all other Judges:

  • The Judicial Office forwards completed applications to the relevant HMCS regional office or Tribunals office. You will receive an automated acknowledgement once you submit your application form. Once the necessary professional checks have been undertaken the Judicial Office will send you an email confirming receipt of your application and giving details of a person in the regional office that will be responsible for arranging your placement. Any queries regarding your placement should be directed to that contact in the first instance.
  • The Regional Office will use the dates that you provide on your application form to arrange a suitable placement. You should ensure that you provide dates that you are sure you have no other commitments. contact you to arrange a date for shadowing to take place. When you are contacted, please try to be as flexible as possible when arranging dates for placements. We also ask that you do not cancel a fixed date once it has been arranged unless it is absolutely necessary. It may not be possible to rearrange a date within a short space of time, and in these circumstances you may need to reapply.
  • Once a date has been arranged, the JWSS administrator will confirm the name of the judge that you will be shadowing. You may be assigned more than one judge to allow greater flexibility or to allow the opportunity to see a variety of cases.

During shadowing

  • Throughout your placement, it is essential that you bring to the court/tribunal the email confirming the dates of your shadowing placement together with photographic identification.
  • Please be courteous and respectful towards the judges (and court staff) who give up their time to allow you to gain an insight into judicial life.

After the shadowing

  • A day after your placement has taken place; you will receive an email asking you to complete an evaluation form. It will be very helpful to know what you thought about the placement and to have your comments. With your help, we can keep on improving the scheme.

If you have any further questions about how the scheme operates, please contact the Judicial Office on 020 7073 1779.

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