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JAC 2017 Recorder Competition – A Brave New World?

My updated blog on the 2018 Recorder competition can be found here  it contains links to tips and advice. For the latest updates on the progress of this competition please follow my Twitter feed.

Feedback:

“I just wanted to say thank you so much for the assistance that you provided me with. Whilst plainly I can neither confirm, nor deny, anything, I wanted you to be aware that I could not have gone through the process at all without your assistance. It was utterly invaluable.”

**** UPDATE 18 December 2018 ****

Some candidates learned about their outcomes mid-morning today, many others are still waiting to hear late in the evening . Candidates being given conflicting information from the JAC, (e-mails have been sent to everyone  – we still have some to contact – we don’t know – person who knows has gone home)!! The competition has been moved from in progress on the JAC website but they have not shared any updates. I understand that of the 32 criminal Recorders appointed on the SE Circuit 21 were civil practitioners.

Almost a year on this sorry competition is ending as it started in chaos and frustration!

*****UPDATE 17 August 2017*****

Well done to everyone through to the Recorder 2017 selection days, it has been an incredibly tough competition so far. I’m very busy working with dozens of candidates to prepare for their selection days. There are some links that may help you below – Good Luck everyone!

Having experienced some earlier problems with technology, the JAC are leaving nothing to chance. Telephone assessments commence 11 May 2017 – I have prepared some guidance and candidates are booking mock practice sessions with me. Please just ask if I can be of any assistance.

***** UPDATE 10 April *****

Candidates have been informed whether they are through to the 3rd stage – JAC recognised problems and 1200+  candidates through:  self-assessments and details of assessors required by 13:00 on Tuesday 25 April.

“The JAC will ensure that no candidate is disadvantaged in proceeding to the next stage as a result of these issues” –  JAC 09/03.  –  If they can genuinely achieve this I’d be hugely impressed, but I just can’t see how it is now possible?!

***** UPDATE 8 March *****

I’ve sent a short report to the JAC highlighting some concerns with how the narrative test was run: 042 Recorder 2nd QT Feedback

I understand many candidates have contacted the JAC directly and I assume candidates will be informed as soon as they have decided how to best proceed.

***** UPDATE 3 March *****

I have prepared some guidance for the 042 Recorder Narrative Qualifying Test on 07/03

 available via e-mail: [email protected]

**** UPDATE 10 February ****

“Unprecedented” – almost 2,500 applicants – top c1,500 to go through to 2nd qualifying test.

Fundamental Changes to the 2017 Selection Process

This article in Counsel Magazine gives a very good overview of what to expect in this competition,if you haven’t seen it, I recommend you read it!

“The assessment tools we’re testing for this exercise are not based on any jurisdiction.”

Dates for the key stages of the exercise are as follows (updated 10/04/17):

The competition is now in progress – applications closed at 13:00 on 8 February.

Online multiple choice test: between 16:00 and 22:00 on 15 February | E-mail of narrative test: Slots 06:00 – 12:00 16:00 – 22:00 on 7 March

Request for successful candidates to complete and submit a self-assessment and provide independent assessment details: 4 April 2017 |Deadline for the submission of completed self-assessments: 25 April 2017 at 13:00

Telephone assessments: extended from 11 May to 12 June | Selection days:  delayed by two months:  6 to 29 September 2017.

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“What A Year” – Wow Thank You

Please click on any hyperlinks that take your fancy or just jump to the song at the end…

People, People, People

It was great to meet with Simon Biltcliffe but what really stands out is how fantastic his PA Lisa Bowen was with me – open, generous, encouraging, efficient and a real unexpected bonus to encounter when trying to arrange a meeting with a phenomenally busy guy. The Australian Paralympian Elizabeth Wright has been a joy to meet and an inspiration to work with. Thanks to Nadio for introducing me to David Broadhead who has really helped to crystalise  my thinking about Leadership.

I’ve also met a great bunch of diverse people at numerous events who have been engaging, thought provoking and also very generous. I love Suits and Vinyl – what a great way to meet other business people.

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Interview Success – My Top Tips

It’s all about your ability to tell your story.

Golden Rule: BE HONEST BE YOURSELF

“Have found both sessions extremely helpful. Many thanks.” “It is so helpful to me!”

  Circuit Judge interview candidate feedback

When I worked in advertising a top colleague always stressed: “Real communication is not about what you intend to communicate but more importantly what people are willing, able and likely to pick up”

If you can it is fantastic experience to be an interviewer – so if you get the chance grab that opportunity. Talk to successful candidates and ask them about their experience and for their tips.

Practice, have mock interviews with colleagues, friends, family or anyone who you trust will give you some straight feedback. The best preparation is to have an actual interview –  nothing beats that experience. 

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Phoenix FM Radio Interview

Blame

A 40 minute interview with Tee Liburd broadcast live from Halifax, Yorkshire, UK on Wednesday 26 November 2014. We discussed my career, what I do now, why I do the things the way I do and what I love. He also played a few of my favourite songs that are very significant to me and how I work.

“Blues skies, green fields, I keep them all in here” – bonus intro track – Red Red Rose by Hope & Social

And you may ask yourself – well, how did I get here?

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Collaboration – Pitching Far Too High?

Sometimes you’re too close to something to appreciate how special it is. But with a bit of distance and time you realise what fantastic things a bunch of random people can achieve! Preceding Le Grand Depart in Yorkshire there was a parallel arts festival and one of the highlights was undoubtedly Hope and Social’s Tour of Infinite Possibility. This blog is not about how great it was or the band are (ok I have to agree they did steal the show at the team presentations opening ceremony!) but about how I witnessed and was a small part of a team working and co-operating together – now I think I understand what collaboration really means.

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Time, Ladies and Gentlemen. Please. Time?!

We are information rich and yet increasingly time and decision making poor. We seem to be working harder and harder just to stand still. Work is becoming more fraught and a lot less enjoyable. We don’t even have the time to ask ourselves why? We’re too busy just doing.

We know the market is fragmenting while our universities are producing thousands more law graduates every year. We have apprentices to add to the ranks of paralegals and businesses looking to cherry pick the profitable work. More resources are being tied up to comply with the ever evolving regulatory requirements. Technological developments mean that we can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and data, which in turn is more complex to manage. Some clients expect instant responses for minimum costs plus the banks are wary of the sector.

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JAC Lifts the Fog on the Tyne – 00937: Deputy District Judge (Civil)

The JAC held a seminar in Newcastle to encourage and inform candidates about the 2014/15 DDJ(Civil) competition and shared some very helpful insights that I have tried to capture and highlight below.

DJ Chris Simmonds told a great story about how the DJ bench are the engine room for the judiciary. He talked about what it was really like sitting as a DJ, the challenges, the myths and the great support. He also told us about career development and that 5 of his DJ colleagues had applied and moved to the circuit bench.

Sarah Gane from the JAC then shared some thought provoking statistics: they recruit between 500 & 600 candidates each year for the main judicial posts as well as for 29 MOJ tribunals. She also encouraged the audience to investigate and consider other sitting options as well as the MOJ tribunals. Candidates could make very positive contributions and gain excellent experience via these positions.

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Lessons from The Boss

OK I admit I am a big fan, but with Bruce Springsteen turning 65 I’ve been wondering… how has he managed to continue to develop his career over the last 50 years? There is talent on every street corner and hundreds of musicians yet only a tiny percentage make it and even fewer can sustain it.

He clearly has great charisma but what else could we learn from him and apply in our own lives:

He works hard, very hard, he is incredibly focussed and driven.

He loves what he does.

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