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"...candidates are less likely to feel supported by their employer in applying for judicial posts..."

Of course that's the case. Employers don't want to lose their employees (or more importantly the money that they generate). Typically, deputy DJs and part-time fee earning judges have to take time off from their full time work (either paid or unpaid), and more often than not part-timers will strive to become full-time, which means giving up private practice altogether.

I'm not saying its' right that Firms often are reluctant to support their employees applying for the bench, but I can understand it.

Having a Firm that sees the benefits in and supports solicitors ascending the bench is a rare thing, but it is satisfying when that support is given (speaking as a soon-to-be appointed assistant coroner with the blessing of my present Firm).

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