Entries Tagged as 'Becoming A Judge'

Zoom - Aim for the Stars... 

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Judicial and Silk Appointment On-Line Interactive Workshops

Over the past few years I’ve been running my interactive workshops for barristers and solicitors wanting to gain insights into the Silk and/or Judicial application processes. I’ve very much enjoyed doing these and have received some excellent feedback. I was approached to run another one for a chambers on the Midlands Circuit in May – but then we were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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JAC Recorder Competition 2020

**** 3 September 2020 Update **** 

A new development: you now download the competency element (most important part) of your application as a Word document, complete it off-line and then upload it when you are ready to submit. Big advantage is it will enable you to format your text and insert line spaces between any examples to make it more visually impactful and easier to read. However, it us up to you to ensure that you keep to the 250 word limit for each headline competency, excess words may be ignored!

**** 26 August 2020 ****

The 2020 competition is due to launch in a week’s time on 2 September with 70 Vacancies. Don’t be put off by the JAC, I’ve worked with many people over the years who suffered numerous rejections yet are now recognised as some of our best judges! – BELIEVE! I’ll aim to update this blog as details emerge and the 2020 competition progresses.

The competency framework is on the right of the Recorder 2020 Vacancy Page under the Related Content heading – as in all JAC competitions, this is your plumb line.

Key Dates:

Deadline for applications 1pm on Wednesday 16 September 2020

Online qualifying tests: 30 September 2020 – Situational Judgement and Critical Reasoning

Online Scenario test: 4 November 2020 – Speed Typing Test!

JAC Contacts Independent Assessors  for successful candidates: 2 February 2021 

Selection days London and Birmingham(if not via MS Teams?) : 12 – 23 April 2021

Outcome of selection process expected by: August 2021

*****Client Feedback*****

I have worked with scores of successful Recorder candidates and some disappointed ones of many year,  I received many appreciative messages including:

” I am delighted to inform you that I have been put forward for appointment as a Recorder with immediate effect.  Since enlisting your services I have been successful in 2 out of 2 JAC competitions and it is only because of your excellent preparation and guidance.  I knew I had a lot to do after that first practice interview session but you gave me the tools and the confidence to do it.”

“Just to let you know I didn’t get it but I’m very grateful for all your help.  I’ve requested feedback and will apply again.”

 

**** The Challenge****

To succeed and take your seat on the bench you will need to prepare professionally so that you can have an edge over your competition. This undated blog is written to help you understand what is required and what you need to do to be prepared, fully prepared.

As information is made available I’ll update this page as the competition progresses and you can follow my updates on Twitter

I expect the  JAC to announce: “There will be three stages to the selection process:

  • an online multiple choice test
  • an online scenario test
  • a selection day comprising an interview and role play”

However, unlike the Combined Qualifying Test earlier this summer, candidates will need to submit their evidence of the competencies before sitting the qualifying tests! Despite the JAC initially indicating there would also be a telephone assessment as part of the sifting process that now doesn’t appear to be the case.

Character: read the guidelines carefully and ensure you disclose all relevant matters, failure to do so will be seen as you lacking integrity. Do check your speeding points, no more than 6 points (or one 6 point offence) currently on your driving license!

Short-Listing – Qualifying Tests – The Recorder Lottery

This has evolved so much that I have written a separate blog – where I explain what to expect and how they have evolved recently.

On-Line Application Form – Evidence of Your Competencies : give specific examples of how you demonstrate the competencies. It will take much more time than you think to complete a strong application that will differentiate you from other candidates. If you have not already started, start drafting now! Some tips  to stand out from the crowd.

Selection Day

They aim to shortlist in the ratio of about 3 candidates per vacancy – so perhaps 450 candidates as they seem to have ditched the telephone assessments.

Role Play – you will be given some reading and then a panel of 3 (1 judicial and 2 lay) will observe you hearing some actors who will respond to your questions and directions. The role play starts as soon as you enter the room. The panel will be looking to assess you against the competencies and looking for evidence of how you perform and demonstrate them.

Interview – again before usually the same panel of 3, they will probe the competencies, but not necessarily all of them depending on the evidence in your application form and from your assessors . My advice for interview success.

How I work with candidates.  Any questions or advice please call 0796 999 7335 or e-mail [email protected]

 

 For information about the workshops I’ve been running please see here.

 

Some Generous Feedback From Grateful Candidiates:

I got it!!!”

” 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.” 

“Whatever happens, working with you has been an unmitigated pleasure. Really, really grateful.”

“Many thanks for your invaluable help. It made a huge difference and I’m very grateful!”

“I did get an email and it said that they are not going to appoint me… but I remain very grateful for your help which was invaluable.”

“I have to say despite all the brilliant things I had heard about you, I had my doubts… But the difference you have made to my application over a couple of hours has been amazing.”

” @wowthankyoutim Only praise from me – great interview coaching & excellent music recommendations.”

“I’ve been recommended for appointment. I’m over the moon. Your help throughout the selection process was invaluable. Tim, I really cannot thank you enough for your help and support throughout the selection process.”

“Not this year I’m afraid but I do want to thank you for all your help and expertise. I certainly felt much better prepared than I would have been and I think the experience will stand me in good stead in future.”

“I got the job!!!!! I’m waiting to hear where I will be sitting and for the official announcement obviously. Thank you so much. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

 

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Interactive Judicial & Silk Appointment Workshops

**** Feedback from my Faculty of Advocates Workshop Vice-Dean to Tim Collins  ****

How to approach making a judicial or Silk application and how to stand out from the crowd at your selection day or interview.

In a two hour interactive workshop I will discuss and answer any questions candidates may have on:

Why competency based recruitment?

How do the qualifying tests work?

How do you select and support your referees?

How to develop compelling application forms?

How you can prepare to succeed at interviews?

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Mock Judicial Appointments Qualifying Tests

“… room for improvement but phenomenally helpful is reading text quickly etc . Really really useful . Thanks for putting it together” 

Over recent years I have been asked repeatedly whether there are any old JAC tests that candidates could try. Up until a few years ago the JAC used to publish qualifying test reports and include their questions and answers. However they no longer make their tests available.

My blog on Qualifying Tests – gives you an overview of how they work.

I have been talking to a number of judges and practitioners about developing some mock crime, civil and family tests. However, the JAC announced at the end of 2016 that they would be testing new non-jurisdictional qualifying tests.

As a result and having collaborated with others I have developed one situational judgement and one critical reasoning test.

“Thank you. Did the test – wow very taxing – got xIt has helped greatly to see it in the flesh as it were and what to expect and what time of day not to take it!!  Timing is key as well – a brilliant revision tool. Thanks”

Situational Judgement

16 questions  in 15 minutes set by a judge to test candidates’ judgement and decision making based on real situations and experience.

Critical Reasoning

23 questions to be answered in 30 minutes based on a judicial speech – this includes time for reading a PDF text.

Your Feedback Report

Following the test you will be e-mailed your test report, score, the questions and answers.

Candidate  Options

NB These tests are on line, so make sure you have a good internet connection, sufficient time and are able to open a PDF document. Please follow the instructions and keep an eye on your time. You must download the speech before commencing the critical reasoning or combined test! Don’t pay for any test until you are ready to take it – they are on-line tests. Payments can only be accepted via PayPal (this is the only payment that works for this).

  1. 1.   Situational Judgement Mock Test 15 minutes – £19.50 +VAT –  SJ test link
  2. 2.   Critical Reasoning Mock Test 30 minutes – £19.50 +VAT – CR test link
  3. 3.    (1 + 2) Situational Judgement & Critical Reasoning Joint Mock Test 45 minutes – £29.50 +VAT – SJ & CR combined test link.

Your results and the correct answers will be automatically e-mailed to you once you have completed a test.

Opportunities (problems)

If you have failed to follow the test instructions and not downloaded the speech for the critical reasoning test, it can be found here!

I have set these tests so that you can take them a second time in case you experience wireless or technical issues.

I’m keen to add further situational judgement questions, but know that will not be easy, especially if they are non-jurisdictional and importantly respect the confidentiality of actual JAC tests.

Any feedback would be most welcome and I hope these may help candidates prepare for any future JAC tests.

“This evening I did the tests that you recently posted on your website which were very helpful.”

Narrative Tests

It is not possible to set these as mock tests as they require marking individually but I am willing to share some tips and advice – please just e-mail me or text me your e-mail address: [email protected] 0796 999 7335

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Judicial Appointments – Qualifying Tests

I try and update this blog when new information becomes available but the JAC are consistently inconsistent! I have updated this in April 2020 and it is simply an attempt to explain how the JAC qualifying tests work, what to expect, some advice and links that may help candidates.

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Another Fine Competition – Deputy District Judge Crime 2016 – Magistrates’ Court

 

*****UPDATE 22 August 2016*****

Congratulations to all who made it through the online scenario. Now you need to provide evidence of your competencies by noon on Monday 5 September:

Help?

I’m frequently asked how I work with candidates; I work based on the needs of each individual candidate:application forms and interviews.

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Circuit Judge Competition 2020 – The Essentials

“I got it!!!”  – Circuit Judge

***** UPDATE  25 February 2020*****

Launched today – deadline for applications is 13:00 on St Patrick’s Day Tuesday 17 March 2020 – there are 50 vacancies with 38 for immediate appointment.

The JAC have a number of other competitions at various stages so I know I have an extremely busy few months ahead . So apologies, in advance, for any delays in responding but I’ll acknowledge messages and revert as soon as I’m able.

“Your input has been invaluable” – Resident Judge Candidate

It looks very similar to the 2019 competition (with a request for a description of your sitting experience)) but in many ways, this is one of the most straight forward competitions that the JAC run. It has evolved over the years and now successful candidates know what they have to do: demonstrate their evidence of the competencies. You have two panels you need to convince – the short-listing panel and the selection day panel. There is some very helpful feedback, sound guidance and clear advice from the JAC on their website. There are expected to be 80 vacancies, but as with other competitions, the number may vary as the competition progresses. 

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10 suggestions for improving the judicial appointments process

Anyone interested in sitting part-time or full-time needs to understand how the JAC’s selection process is evolving. It has changed significantly over the past 6 months with the introduction of  new competency frameworks, on-line applications and multiple-choice qualifying tests for some competitions.

Based on my experience of working with scores of candidates across most of these recent competitions – can I suggest the following:

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