California Judicial Mentor Program FAQs

Why has the California Judicial Mentor Program been created in partnership with the Governor’s Office?

The Governor’s Office wants to expand the pool of qualified judicial applicants from diverse legal backgrounds and diverse communities. It believes that this program may help encourage prospective applicants to complete the application process, particularly those who may self-select out of the application process.

How does the program work?

The Court will pair the mentee with a mentor judge. The mentor judge will help demystify the judicial appointment process, answer questions about the judicial application, and may suggest new experiences to improve the mentee’s skills.

How do I become a mentee?

You must apply. Email a request for an application form to:

Is there a deadline to apply to be a mentor?

No. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

What are the qualifications for a mentee?

A mentee must: (1) have at least 8 years of experience as a lawyer in California and be licensed in California for at least 8 years; (2) be in good standing with the Bar; and (3) be committed to public service. Those from legal backgrounds and communities underrepresented in the judiciary are particularly encouraged to apply.

How are mentees paired with mentors?

Pairings will be based on common areas of legal practice, affinity bar memberships, and other factors. There is no guarantee that a particular mentee will be assigned a mentor judge whose interests closely align with theirs.

Will all mentee applicants get a mentor?

Not necessarily. Mentees will be assigned based on the availability of judicial mentors.

If I have already applied for judicial appointment, may I still apply to be a mentee?


How long is the term of mentorship?

Each mentor and mentee will be formally matched for a maximum period of 12 months.

What if I am already working with a bar association or judge on my judicial application?

The program is not intended to supplant any existing program or previous relationship but, instead, should complement those efforts.

When will I find out if I’ve been selected as a mentee in the program?

You will receive an email from the California Judicial Mentor Program Committee.

Are mentees who participate in the California Judicial Mentor Program given preference in judicial appointments?

No. The program is designed to help in your career development and in preparing an application. It is not designed to give certain applicants an inside track. Applicants who do not participate in this program are not disadvantaged.

Are there any judges who will not participate as a judicial mentor?

Yes. Members of the Governor’s Judicial Selection Advisory Committee (JSAC) will not serve as mentors.

Whom should I contact if I have a question?