The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) and the Law Society today launched a training and information package to encourage more solicitors to apply for judicial posts.

The two organisations have designed a courtroom training video and commentary specifically targeted at solicitors to assist them in the part of the selection exercise that assesses understanding of the court process. Solicitors are often at a disadvantage compared with barristers because of their lack of court-based work.

The video shows an example role-play used in selection exercises to simulate a court or tribunal environment, where the applicant takes on the role of a judge.

The JAC and Law Society have also published an information booklet explaining the selection process. It addresses some of the myths surrounding judicial appointments, for example the perception that candidates need to have been an advocate in the High Court or have friends at senior levels in the judiciary.

Law Society president Robert Heslett said: ‘The Law Society is committed to a solicitors profession that reflects the society it serves, and such an approach should apply to the judiciary.’

A JAC spokesman said the commission was working to develop ‘an even sharper and better targeted approach’ to encourage and support talented lawyers from a more diverse background.

‘We have fair and open processes, but our research showed there are barriers outside our control,’ he said.