A new Judicial Mentoring Scheme has been developed focussing on addressing under-representation of women, Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) lawyers and encouraging greater socio-economic diversity. These are currently the priority areas for both the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals.
The scheme is an initiative of the Judicial Diversity Committee, chaired by the Lord Chief Justice and co-chaired by Lady Justice Heather Hallett to support the committee’s vision to encourage greater diversity at all levels of the judiciary.
The scheme is administered by the Judicial Office.
Please be aware that there is a considerable backlog of applications currently being considered for both the judicial work shadowing and mentoring scheme. This may result in waiting times of six months and in some cases longer. Rest assured that places are allocated in order of application and immediately a suitable match with a relevant judge becomes available. Thank you for your patience.
Am I eligible?
The scheme is open to barristers, solicitors, chartered legal executives and professionally qualified legal academics (within the above under-represented target groups only) who have participated in the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme and are seeking an appointment in the next two years (or at the next available opportunity). It is similarly open to judges seeking to progress to higher office within the same period.
What can I get out of the scheme?
This scheme will encourage and support women, BAME lawyers, and lawyers from low socio-economic backgrounds¹, intending to apply for their first judicial appointment. Similarly, the scheme will also support judges from the same background (both fee-paid and salaried) who wish to progress to higher office.
The purpose of this scheme will be to provide a safe environment for lawyers to:
- share issues inhibiting their application to judicial office (e.g. concerns of work/life balance, self-confidence, self-perception) and receive confidential advice, support and guidance from a mentor judge
- learn from someone with greater understanding of the judiciary
- establish what skills and experiences are needed to support their application to judicial office
- identify areas where further development and experience is required and consider how these may be acquired
- decide whether or not taking up judicial office is an option they want to pursue
Who would mentor me?
The scheme is being supported by fee-paid and salaried judges from the courts and tribunals who have volunteered their time to act as mentors.
How do I apply?
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 apply to the Judicial Mentoring Scheme 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.
Once you are logged on, please update your diversity background in your personal profile and press ‘Submit’. If you are eligible (see above), you will receive a link to the mentor application form within 48 hours. If you have not received an email within this timeframe, please contact the Workshadowing Team.
Please also contact the team if you incur any technical problems or have feedback on the content, design or navigation of the application form.
The Judicial Office will identify a mentor who matches your requirements (as far as possible). The aim will be to match a mentor who currently holds, or who has held, the judicial role of interest and who is based within reasonable travelling distance.
Once a suitable match has been identified, you will be provided with the mentor’s contact details so that you can make the initial contact.
In the event that the Judicial Office is unable to identify a suitable mentor at the time of your application, your name will be placed on a waiting list until a suitable match is available.
How can I find out more?
If you have any further questions about how the scheme operates, please contact the Judicial Office on 020 7073 1610.
¹Lawyers who attended a (non fee paying) state school or were the first generation in their family to attend university.