Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme

The head of the Scottish judiciary has launched a new Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme, which gives any qualified solicitor, solicitor-advocate or advocate the opportunity to apply to spend up to three days observing the work of a judicial office holder.

The purpose of the scheme is to encourage legal practitioners to consider applying for judicial office. 

The Lord President, Lord Carloway, said: “I welcome this scheme and hope that it serves to provide an insight into the working lives of a judge or sheriff and demystify what the roles involve. In particular, I hope that it will capture the interest of potential candidates well in advance of the date upon which they might consider applying for judicial office.” 

The scheme will provide a suitable environment for legal professionals to: 

  • share issues which they perceive as inhibiting their application for judicial office (e.g. concerns of work/life balance, self-confidence, self-perception) and receive confidential advice, support and guidance from a mentor judge;
  • learn from someone with greater understanding of the judiciary;
  • establish what skills and experiences are needed to support their application for judicial office;
  • identify areas where further development and experience is required and consider how these may be acquired; and
  • decide whether or not taking up judicial office is an option which they might want to pursue. 

The shadowing does not have to be on consecutive days. It must be completed within six months of acknowledgement of the application, although this will depend on the availability of cases and the judicial office holder to be shadowed. 

The scheme is also open to serving sheriffs and sheriffs principal who have an interest in applying to be a Senator of the College of Justice. 

To apply for a placement please read the scheme guidance and send a completed Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme application form to JudicialOfficeforScotland@scotcourts.gov.uk. 

Alternatively you may post it to: 

Strategy & Governance Branch

Judicial Office for Scotland

Parliament House


EH1 1RQ 

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