Solicitor judges

Apply for deputy district judge vacancies 2021

Applications for the role of deputy district judge (DDJ) opened on 19 July 2021. The closing date is 9 August 2021. We encourage solicitors to apply.

We have been asked to share the following message with members:

“Both the master of the rolls, Sir Geoffrey Vos, and the president of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, welcome solicitor applicants in the upcoming DDJ competition. Their expertise and experience are greatly valued."

To help you prepare, we’ve summarised key tips and advice, linked to online resources and essential information.

How to apply – first stages

Candidates need to register by 1pm on Monday 9 August.

Registered candidates will be invited to complete the first stage qualifying test.

This includes two multiple choice tests on:

  • situational judgement
  • critical analysis

Read advice from the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) on preparing for qualifying tests and observing court hearings

The role

Deputy district judges sit on a fee-paid basis in the county courts and district registries of the High Court.

The work of district judges involves a wide spectrum of civil and family law cases such as claims for:

  • damages and injunctions
  • possession proceedings against mortgage borrowers and property tenants
  • divorces
  • child proceedings
  • domestic violence injunctions, and
  • insolvency proceedings

Applicants should pay close attention to the competency framework for this role.

Read the competency framework

If you have questions about this vacancy, email the JAC at

Location and jurisdiction

In your online application you’ll be asked to indicate, in order of preference, the location(s) in which you are willing to work.

Final deployment decisions will be made by the senior presiding judge. 

Up to 75 successful candidates may be deployed to sit in family proceedings (public and/or private law):

  • subject to the agreement of senior judges, and
  • following the requisite Judicial College training

Any candidates deployed to sit in family proceedings are also expected to sit in the civil jurisdiction in due course.

Find out more about eligibility, application timeline, terms and conditions, and the selection process

Resources for members of the Solicitors Judges Division

Webinar: Practical advice for aspiring solicitor judges webinar (recorded 23 June 2021)

Preparing for judicial interviews: competency-based examples

Tips from a recently appointed solicitor DDJ

Join the Solicitor Judges Division