The Judicial Work Shadowing Scheme, run by the newly-formed Judicial Appointments Commission, allows potential candidates for the bench a voluntary opportunity to sit in with a full-time judge. The Merseyside Junior Lawyer Division opens the same opportunity to its members. Some believe shadowing a sitting judge should be compulsory for prospective judicial candidates, but what about trainee solicitors?

CEL’s first trainee solicitor, Joshua Murphy, attended such a scheme at Birkenhead County Court, shadowing District Judge Hennessy and District Judge Langley. An excellent opportunity for personal development and in-court experience, Josh was able to shadow and observe Stage 3 hearings as well as a telephone hearing.

Judge holding gavel in courtroom


We believe in training all of our staff to the same level, regardless of their position in the firm. Opening opportunities like this scheme to our Trainee Solicitors simply means increased rate of progression through both interpersonal skills and professional skills. This benefits both the employee and the firm, with the added bonus of the employee feeling greater affinity for their employer if they see there are opportunities to hand that are less readily available elsewhere. The Scheme is an educational opportunity offered by the Merseyside Junior Lawyer Division to its members.

Josh said of the experience, “When I discovered the District Judge Shadowing Scheme, I felt that it was a fantastic opportunity for my own development, and to be able to share my experience with my colleagues. Given that trainee solicitors are expected to develop their advocacy skills as part of their SRA training diary, schemes like this are a great opportunity for trainees to witness different advocacy styles demonstrated by barristers.”

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