Inland Counties Judicial Mentorship Program

San Bernardino Superior Court has an overall need of 43 judges – the highest need in the state. “We are pleased to be working with the Governor’s Judicial Appointment Secretary Luis Céspedes to see that our bench becomes more diverse and reflective of the greater diversity in the state of California and San Bernardino County as a whole,” said Presiding Judge Michael A. Sachs.

In partnership with Riverside and Imperial Superior Courts, the Inland Counties Judicial Mentorship Program is intended to bring awareness of the judicial needs in San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Counties while providing support to prospective candidates during the process. For more information, visit the San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Superior Court websites.

PROGRAM PURPOSE
The purpose of this program is to formalize the recruitment and development of qualified and diverse judicial candidates. The program is designed to identify, encourage and provide mentors for all individuals considering a judicial career.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
If an attorney is interested in applying to be a judge, they will be invited to speak to the Presiding Judge for an introduction and overview of the program. Prospective applicants will be offered one-on-one mentorship by a judge assigned to discuss career objectives, answer questions, and review the application. Participation in the mentor program is not a guarantee of appointment.

COLLABORATION WITH BAR GROUPS
San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial Superior Courts collaborate with local bar association that already have judicial recruitment programs. The program is not intended to replace existing bar programs, but to complement efforts by providing bar associations with current insight into the Governor’s judicial qualifications and priorities.

NEXT STEPS
Prospective applicants should complete the Judicial Mentor Program Request Form and contact the Executive Office by calling 909-708-8767 to schedule an appointment to meet with the Presiding Judge. For more information and instructions on how to complete the Judicial Applicant Application, please visit the State of California’s website https://www.gov.ca.gov/instructions-for-completing-judicial-appointment-applications/.

MORE INFORMATION
The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) has issued advice about whether judges participating in the California Judicial Mentor Program should disqualify from cases in which their mentee attorneys appear. In CJEO Expedited Opinion 2022-045, the committee concludes that judges acting as mentors should disqualify from cases involving mentee attorneys because a reasonable observer might doubt a mentor judge’s ability to be impartial. The committee notes the program involves frequent and substantive contact between mentors and mentees, and that mentorship implies a close and influential relationship.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR'S OFFICE - JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS
Superior Court Judge Application and additional information can be found on the Governor’s Judicial Appointments web page:

Instructions for Completing Judicial Appointment Applications

Requirements: The mandatory eligibility requirement to serve as a judge on a California court. “A person is ineligible to be a judge of a court of record unless for 10 years immediately preceding selection, the person has been a member of the State Bar or served as a judge of a court of record in this State.” Cal. Const, Art. VI, section 15 (2007). They must also be a member in good standing with the California State Bar.