December 4, 2022
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. How do I become a mentee?
    You must apply. Click here to fill out an application form. Once completed, email the form with your attached resume to JudicialMentorProgram@sanmateocourt.org
  4. Is there a deadline to apply to be a mentee?
    No. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
  5. What are the qualifications for a mentee?
    A mentee must (1) have at least 10 years of current experience as a licensed lawyer in California; (2) be in good standing with the State Bar; and (3) be committed to public service. Those from legal backgrounds and communities underrepresented in the judiciary are particularly encouraged to apply.
  6. 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.
  7. Will all mentee applicants get a mentor?
    Not necessarily. Mentees will be assigned based on the availability of judicial mentors.
  8. If I already applied for judicial appointment, may I still apply to be a mentee?
    No.
  9. How long is the term of mentorship?
    Each mentor and mentee will be formally matched for a maximum period of 12 months. Mentors and mentees are expected to meet at least 4 times during that 12-month period.
  10. 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.
  11. When will I find out if I have been selected as a mentee in the program?
    You will receive an email from the California Judicial Mentor Program Committee.
  12. 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.
  13. Is application to and participation in the mentoring component of the program confidential?
    We will endeavor to keep confidential any application to this program. Once mentee applicants are accepted into the program, we also expect both the mentor and the mentee will hold their conversations in confidence. This will promote frankness and a willingness to share information by both mentor and mentee.
  14. Are there judges who will not participate as judicial mentors?
    Yes. Members of the Governor's Judicial Selection Advisory Committee (JSAC) will not serve as mentors.
  15. What should mentees know about what they should NOT expect to get from participating in the California Judicial Mentor Program?
    First, mentees should not expect that participating in this program will give them an advantage in the selection process. The Governor's office has emphasized that it will give no weight to the fact that an applicant has been a mentee in the program.

    Second, absent a pre-existing relationship that gives a mentor prior personal knowledge of the mentee, mentors will not serve as references to mentees, should the mentee decide to apply for a judicial vacancy.

    Third, mentees should not expect to receive assistance from mentors in filling out or editing an application for a court vacancy.
  16. Whom should I contact if I have questions?
    Email the California Judicial Mentor Program at JudicialMentorProgram@sanmateocourt.org.
© 2022 Superior Court of San Mateo County