In addition to the resources on our website, there is plenty of support available from our partners if you are considering applying to become a judge. For lawyers, we recommend exploring the resources and guidance available from your professional body.
|The Bar Council
The Bar Council offers support to barristers such as mentoring schemes for all career stages, helplines for diversity, pupillage and other issues, wellbeing resources and personal support.
|The Law Society
The Law Society has a Solicitor Judges Division to support solicitors who are interested in a judicial career. Also available are case studies about judges with a solicitor backgound, and a ‘judicial pathway’ to guide your personal and professional development.
|The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
CILEx offers a Judicial Development Programme to support members who wish to learn more about applying for a judicial appointment. Also available are ‘be a judge’ webinars and case studies about judges with a CILEx background.
|Courts and Tribunals Judiciary of England and Wales
The Judiciary website offers a range of resources, including information about different types of judicial roles, a ‘day in the life of a judge’ series, judicial shadowing and mentoring schemes and information about how judges can progress within the courts and tribunals.
Judicial work shadowing and mentoring opportunities
If you are considering applying for judicial office, work shadowing can offer an insight into the daily life of a judge, inside and outside of court. The shadowing scheme is run by the Judicial Office for England and Wales, where you would spend up to three days observing a judge’s main duties. Reasonable adjustments will be made to enable people with a disability to participate in the scheme. Apply for work shadowing on the Judiciary website
Spending some time observing in a courtroom can also be useful in helping you prepare for application. Most court rooms have a public gallery where you can observe how a hearing is run, and how the judge manages the courtroom, interacts with different individuals and delivers a judgment.
There is also a Judicial Mentoring Scheme to address the under-representation of women and ethnic minority lawyers and encourage greater socio-economic diversity. This scheme is run by the Judicial Office and is open to those who have participated in the judicial work shadowing scheme. More information about mentoring on the Judiciary website
Pre-Application Judicial Education programme
The Pre-Application Judicial Education programme (PAJE) supports talented lawyers from underrepresented groups to feel more equipped, confident and prepared when considering applying for a future judicial role.
It is a joint initiative of the Judicial Diversity Forum, which is made up of the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, Judicial Appointments Commission, the Legal Services Board, The Bar Council, The Law Society of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
PAJE offers participants from all legal backgrounds the opportunity to develop their understanding of the role and skills required of a judge. There are a series of digital resources including short online videos and podcasts, developed by the Judicial College, which show judges talking about their work and the judiciary. These digital resources cover a number of topics such as judgecraft, decision-making, judicial ethics, resilience and equality and diversity. They are available for all to view on an unlimited basis: PAJE
Once these the online resources have been viewed, candidates can then apply to attend judge-led group discussion sessions, by emailing the PAJE team. Spaces on these sessions are prioritised for lawyers from underrepresented groups.
Participants share their experience of the PAJE programme, read what they have to say here.