Translate this page:
View Disclaimer
Mentor Committee

Many judges have devoted time to the important work of mentoring persons interested in applying to (or running for) the bench, and this program will encourage them to continue and expand their efforts. The Presiding Judge is appointing a formal panel of mentor judges who will be available to anyone seeking guidance in applying (or election) to the bench. The role of the mentor judges is not to select or recommend candidates; but rather to demystify the application (or election) and vetting process.

Participation in the mentor program is not a guarantee of appointment or election. In addition, applicants to the program who are interested in being elected to the bench should be focused on running for open judicial seats.

Interested individuals should contact the Court by submitting a form to the Court to receive information on next steps. The completed form should be emailed to .

Participants will be paired with a mentor judge who will discuss the prospective applicant’s career objectives, answer questions regarding the application/election and vetting process, and be available to assist in providing input as the candidate completes the application (or files papers to run for office).

Some notes on the mentor program:

  1. Mentees are expected to commit to a minimum of four meeting per year with their assigned mentors and to be reasonably available by phone/e-mail. Mentees and mentors can agree to a mutually-acceptable schedule of fewer or more meetings.
  2. Assignments depend on the number of judges who volunteer to mentor. When mentors and mentees are matched, the Court will take into consideration a number of factors, including shared backgrounds and experiences and the desire not to cause conflicts/recusals (e.g., the Court likely would not match a public defender or deputy district attorney with a particular calendar assignment with the judge who was handling that calendar assignment).
  3. Prospective mentees must have eight or more years of legal experience to be part of this program.
  4. The Court especially encourages participation by diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds; attorneys with disabilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) attorneys; and attorneys who regularly serve these communities.
  5. The Court encourages attorneys from smaller counties near Santa Clara (e.g., San Benito and Santa Cruz) to apply for this program, as well.
  6. The Court will not disclose publicly a mentee’s participation in the program without the mentee’s consent.

If you need additional information, please contact .

© 2023 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara