Judicial Mentorship Program

OVERVIEW
The Monterey County Superior Court Judicial Mentor Program is designed to assist in the recruitment and development of a qualified, inclusive, and diverse judicial applicant pool for the Superior Court of California. This program was designed by judges in collaboration with the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. The primary objective of the program is to identify, encourage, and provide mentors for all individuals considering a judicial career. Wherever possible, applicants will be paired with judicial mentors based upon shared backgrounds, professional experiences, and common interests.

Mentor judges will be available to those seeking guidance in applying to the bench and to those who have already applied. The role of the mentor judge is not to select or recommend candidates, rather it is to demystify the application and vetting process. Mentors and applicants will be expected to meet quarterly each year to set objectives, evaluate progress, and discuss future professional development goals.

The program is offered under the leadership of Monterey County Superior Court Presiding Judge Pamela L. Butler and the Judicial Mentor Committee comprising of Judge Rafael Vazquez, Judge Jennifer O'Keefe, Judge Mark E. Hood, and Judge Vanessa W. Vallarta.

MISSION STATEMENT
The Monterey County Superior Court Judicial Mentor Program is designed to promote public trust and confidence in the judicial system by ensuring a judiciary that reflects the unique communities in Monterey County and the State of California. Judges involved in the program will work to support and encourage all individuals interested in a judicial career.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
The Monterey County Superior Court Judicial Mentor Program is designed to assist in the recruitment of a qualified, inclusive, and diverse applicant pool; connect judicial mentors with all qualifying individuals interested in pursuing a judicial career; conduct educational outreach programs to provide information on the judicial application and appointment process and general criteria for appointment; and evaluate program success by capturing data to measure the overall effectiveness of the program.

HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
This two-part program consists of a one-on-one mentor committee and a community outreach/recruitment committee.

MENTOR COMMITTEE
The Monterey County Superior Court judicial officers are committed to the important work of mentoring all individuals interested in a judicial career. To assist in the recruitment and development of an outstanding, inclusive, and diverse judicial applicant pool, the Court has appointed a formal panel of mentor judges who will be available to qualified individuals seeking guidance in applying to the bench. Participants will be paired with a mentor judge who will discuss the prospective applicant's career objectives, answer questions regarding the application and vetting process, and be available to assist in providing input as the candidate completes the application and progresses through the judicial appointment process.

OUTREACH COMMITTEE
The Outreach Committee will work with all sectors of the legal community, including bar associations, public interest organizations, government attorneys, private law firms, and solo practitioners.

The goals of the outreach effort are to inform members of the legal community of the program, disseminate consistent information regarding the Governor's judicial criteria, and identify and encourage leaders within all sectors of the legal community to assist in recruiting candidates interested in a judicial career.

The Outreach Committee will work with all sectors of the local legal community to formalize a recruitment process that results in one-on-one mentoring with judges.

APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS
An applicant must have practiced law in the State of California for at least 10 years, be in good standing with the State Bar of California, and be able to commit to meeting with an assigned mentor at least four times a year.

HOW TO APPLY
Interested individuals should click on the link to view or download the fillable Judicial Mentor Program Application and submit their completed Application and Resume to judicialmentorprogram@monterey.courts.ca.gov
Participation in the Monterey County Superior Court Judicial Mentor Program does not guarantee appointment of any applicant to the bench.