Pathways to Judicial Diversity
A Judicial Council Initiative to Promote Diversity on the Bench


Pathways to Achieving Judicial Diversity is a toolkit prepared by the Judicial Council with the substantial collaborative contribution of the Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness and the State Bar of California and its Council on Access and Fairness.

This toolkit was conceived as a result of the 2006 Summit on Judicial Diversity (cosponsored by the State Bar of California, the California Judges Association, the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness, and various state, local, and specialty bar associations) and a follow-up meeting of judicial branch partners who explored ways to support the Governor’s efforts to increase the diversity of California’s judiciary. Participants in the follow-up meeting proposed strategies and programs that the judiciary could implement, either alone or in collaboration with justice system partners such as the State Bar and local and specialty bar associations. The overarching focus of those suggestions was on judicial outreach and mentoring of potential applicants. The toolkit is a compilation of those suggestions and various national and statewide diversity program models, some of which were modified to ensure consistency with California state law.

Since the 2006 summit, the judicial branch has made major progress toward the goal of achieving a bench that reflects the diversity of California’s population through focused efforts of the judicial branch, its justice system partners, and the Governor’s Office. Although gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of the bench has improved, more work remains. Therefore, one of the goals of this toolkit is to assist judicial officers and courts in achieving greater progress toward the goal of fully attaining diversity.