Am I ready - before making an application
This section aims to provide guidance to people intending to enter a JAC selection exercise for judical office. As guidance it is intended to help the prospective candidate assess if they are ready to make an application. Simply following these suggestions, however, can not guarantee success in a JAC selection exercise. Success depends upon the candidate satisfying the requirements of the shortlisting and selection day process and proving that they are worthy of selection on merit ahead of others in the same selection exercise.
Before making an application
Before applying, you need to be honest with yourself about whether you are ready. Competition for judicial roles is very high, with sometimes 10 applications for every vacancy, even in large selection exercises. This is why candidates have to be more than experts in their field. Successful candidates often prepare months in advance of a selection exercise starting. Below is a checklist to help you decide whether you are ready to make your application.
1. Do you know what roles are coming up?
- Look at the forthcoming vacancies on the website and sign up for email alerts.
- Sign up to receive Judging Your Future, a monthly email update on forthcoming vacancies and any changes to the selection process.
2. Decide which roles interest you and check that you satisfy the eligibility criteria. Read our eligibility FAQ here
3. Have you found out more about the role(s)?
- Read case studies of successful candidates on our website here.
- Read up on and spend time in the jurisdiction for which you intend to apply. Speak to judges already working there and observe how they work. A good way to do this is by applying for the Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme run by Judicial Office here at least three months ahead of the selection exercise launching. You can also make a private arrangement with a judge or go along and observe courts/tribunals in the public gallery.
- Visit www.judiciary.gov.uk which seeks to explains the roles and work of judicial office-holders in the civil, criminal and family courts, and in tribunals.
4. Have you found out about the selection process?
- Attend a candidate seminar or watch a webinar via this website.
- Apply to be a mock candidate here and gain valuable experience for future selection exercises.
- Look at previous application forms, which are available on our website. These follow a similar layout for each exercise. Pay particular attention to the self assessment, and think of detailed examples of how you have demonstrated the neccessary qualities and abilities.
- Collect examples as evidence of your abilities throughout the year, as a portfolio. You can then measure their weight and relevance for the posts that interest you against the qualities and abilities and the detailed job description.
- Think about whom to approach as your referees. Only referees who can provide strong evidence of a candidate's work are likely to produce the sort of references that will assist the panel in its decision making.
- Remember that the selection panel is interested in evidence based examples; not assertions. For each example you need to describe succinctly the situation/task you faced, the specific role you played and actions you took, the result and any lessons learned.
- Allow plenty of time - at least a week - to complete and polish your application using the material from your portfolio of examples.
- Follow the instructions on how to apply on completion carefully and re-read the application form to check for any typographical and grammatical errors.