The Judicial Appointments Commission has combined with the Law Society to launch a new training and education package that is designed to boost diversity and encourage more solicitors to become judges.
The package, also prepared with the assistance of the Black Solicitors Network, includes a video with a role-playing exercise. Such exercises – where the candidate has to play the part of a judge in a simulated case – form an important part in selection to judicial positions.
“Solicitors who do not spend much of their working lives in a courtroom or tribunal have said they would like more help to prepare for the role-playing exercise,” the Law Society said.
The package of measures also include outreach training, with solicitor-judges sharing their experiences, and judicial appointments training across England and Wales.
Chancery Lane has also set up a mentoring group of solicitor judges to help encourage solicitors to apply for appointments.
Law Society President Bob Heslett said: “The Law Society is committed to a solicitor’s profession that reflects the society it serves. Such an approach should apply to the judiciary.
“Many solicitors still feel disadvantaged in the judicial appointments process. There are misconceptions which the Law Society hopes to debunk with this package, including those surrounding the type of references required or the right professional, educational or even social background.”