Who can apply?

Qualification requirement

The scheme is open to Barristers, Solicitors, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Registered Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys. It is also open to professionally-qualified legal academics.

The table below provides information on who can apply, the type of judge you can shadow and the minimum number of legal post qualification experience (PQE) you will require to participate in the scheme.

Legal practitioner who can apply to the scheme Type of Judicial office holder that can be shadowed under the scheme Minimum years of legal PQE required to shadow a Judge
Barrister/Solicitor
  • High Court Judge (currently suspended:2018)
  • Circuit Judge
  • District Judge (Civil or Family)
  • District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)
  • Judge of the First-tier Tribunal
  • Employment Judge*
Seven years
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
  • District Judge (Civil or Family)
  • District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)
  • Judge of the First-tier Tribunal
  • Employment Judge*
  • Road User Charging Adjudicator
Seven years
Registered Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys
  • Chairman of the Copyright Tribunal
  • Appointed Person in the Trade Marks Registry Tribunal
Seven years

Nationality requirements

Applicants must be citizens of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or a Commonwealth country and be a member of one of the relevant professional bodies in England and Wales (or in Scotland or Northern Ireland in the case of shadowing in a Tribunals Service hearing centre located in Scotland or Northern Ireland). Holders of dual nationality which includes one of these may apply.

The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission administers a separate Judicial Shadowing Scheme.

* For work shadowing opportunities in the Employment Tribunals in Scotland, please contact the President of the Tribunal

Membership and disciplinary checks

The Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme is supported by all participating professional bodies: The Bar Council, Law Society, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys and Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.

Please note the Judicial Office will contact an applicant’s professional body to carry out membership and disciplinary checks. These checks will form part of the Judicial Office’s selection process for the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme.

We cannot offer work shadowing placements to practitioners who have conditions on their authority to practice or who have been suspended from practice following a finding against them within the last three years.

Statutory eligibility for appointment

Please check the Judicial Appointments Commission for the latest guidelines and criteria for applying for a Judicial appointment.

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