How to apply for JWSS?

You can apply to the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme or Conversation with a Judge through the online application form. If you have previously applied to the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme, your details will already be stored in the database and you will be able to access your account by resetting your password.

To reset your password, please click: ‘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 have logged into the portal, you can update your Personal Profile and submit a new application.

Please contact the Judicial Work Shadowing Team if you incur any problems with the application form.

Deciding which type of judge to shadow

When choosing the type of judge to shadow, we recommend 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.

We are unable to arrange shadowing for more than one type of judge in the same application.

Please note: that all Judicial Work Shadowing placements in the High Court and for the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber are currently suspended until further notice. Should you be planning to apply for a High Court appointment please consider shadowing a Circuit Judge.

Making further applications

Due to the popularity of the scheme, we have to limit placements to one 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, when you were admitted as a solicitor, called to the Bar or qualified in your legal profession).

Failure to do so can result in a delay to your application or your application being rejected.

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 into 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.

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 to your application will be communicated to you at this email address. You will be required to respond to certain emails within a stated timeframe 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

  • The Judicial Office forwards completed applications to the relevant HMCTS regional 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 giving details of a person in the regional office who 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. They will 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 HMCTS 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

  • 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 improving the scheme.

If you have any further questions about how the scheme operates, please contact the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme.