Introduction To JWSS

“There is no substitute for sitting with a judge when trying to assess if judicial office would be of interest.”

A participant

The Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme gives eligible legal practitioners who are considering a career in judicial office an insight into the work of a judge. Shadowing can cover any aspect of a judge’s work, both in and out of court.

Eligible legal practitioners can spend up to two days observing the work both in and out of court, of the following judges:

  • Circuit Judge
  • District Judge (civil or family)
  • District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts)
  • Tribunal Judge

The shadowing does not have to be on consecutive days and must be completed within six months of dates being agreed between you and the judge.

All participants are required to sign a declaration to confirm they have a genuine interest in judicial appointment, and accept they are prohibited from disclosing any facts or information about the cases after the shadowing is completed.

Due to the increasing popularity of the scheme, it can take some time for the placement to be arranged. Please consider this when applying. If you are considering applying for a forthcoming judicial appointments selection exercise, it is wise to apply for shadowing as early as possible. We cannot guarantee that a placement will be arranged within a certain timeframe since this largely depends on the judge’s availability. Alternatively, you may wish to consider sitting in a public hearing, while considering an application for judicial appointment.

The scheme is administered centrally by the Judicial Office and supported by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.

You may also be interested in the Law Commissioner Diversity Work Shadowing Scheme.

Related content

  • Application Support

    If you have any further questions about the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme, or a specific application, please contact us using the link below: The Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme Team

  • Case studies

    Karim Ezzat – District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts) & Recorder “For some time before I applied to be a Deputy District Judge (MC), I had thought that it would be a job that I’d both enjoy and be good at. In 2011 I applied to shadow a District Judge (MC) for three days so I could […]

  • Disability

    We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities. Reasonable adjustments will be made as far as possible to accommodate each participant’s needs. Under the Equality Act of 2010, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. […]

  • FAQs

    Find answers to your questions below: Is there any cost to me or my firm? The scheme is free of charge, but participants must cover their travel and subsistence costs. Where can I find my membership number of the relevant professional body? Most participating professional bodies provide their members with a unique membership number which […]

  • Tribunals offering the scheme

    Please see below the Tribunals offering placements in the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme. Please refer to the GOV.UK website (external link, opens in a new tab) for more information about each Chamber and its work. Health, Education and Social Care Chamber Immigration and Asylum Chamber Property Chamber Social Entitlement Chamber Tax Chamber The General Regulatory Chamber IMPORTANT […]