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Public Notice:

Starting June 3rd, clerk hours will be expanding to 8:00 - 3:30

Judicial Mentorship Program

October 18th, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. by Zoom


The San Benito County Superior Court Judicial Mentor Program (the Program) is designed to increase the diverse background and experience of its bench. This program was designed by judges in collaboration with the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. The primary objective of the program is to provide attorneys who are interested in becoming judges with a mentor to provide insight and encouragement throughout the process. 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. The role of the mentor judges 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.

Mission Statement

The Program is designed to promote public trust and confidence in the judicial system by ensuring a judiciary that reflects the unique communities in San Benito County and the State of California. Judges involved in the Program will work to support and encourage all individuals interested in being a judicial officer.

Program Objectives

Assist in the recruitment of qualified and diverse judicial 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.

Evaluate Program success by capturing data to measure 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 San Benito County Superior Court bench is committed to the important work of mentoring people interested in applying to the bench.  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 persons 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 appointments 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 Outreach Committee will coordinate with bar organizations that already have judicial recruitment programs and work to complement their efforts.  

Applicant Requirements

An applicant must:

  • Have practiced law in the State of California for at least 8 years.
  • Be in good standing with the State Bar of California.
  • Be able to commit to meeting with 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

Participation in the San Benito County Superior Court Judicial Mentor Program does not guarantee appointment of any applicant to the bench.

Frequently Asked Questions

Complete the respective application form. Mentor and mentee applications are available online at…

No. However, all mentors may not be assigned mentees, because assignments will depend on a variety of factors including the number of mentee applicants. The mentor must be willing to meet with his or her mentee at least four times during the year, and it is expected that mentors will be motivated by a commitment to increasing the diversity of the bench.

Each mentee must meet all of the following qualifications: if partnering with a local bar, be a member of the San Benito County Bar Association; have at least eight years of legal experience; plan to become a bench officer within five years of participating in this program; and be committed to public service. Mentees who are members of groups that are underrepresented in the judiciary in their communities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Mentors will be paired with mentees by a matching committee upon evaluation of the mentor and mentee applications submitted. Pairing considerations will include the mentor’s areas of previous legal practice and current department assignment. Except in unusual circumstances, each mentor will have no more than one mentee per year.

Mentors must commit to meet with their mentees, at a minimum, four times per year. The mentor and mentee may choose to meet more or less often, based on their personal preferences.

Yes. Members of the Judicial Mentoring Program committee (and/or the local bar associations) will provide assistance and information to mentors.

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