But the survey results, published at the end of August, also indicated that aspirations are not being translated into applications, particularly amongst black and minority ethnic (BAME) and female lawyers. Fifty one per cent (up from 50%) did not think they would be appointed; 41% (up from 33%) felt they were too young; and 37% (dropped from 51%) were happy in their current jobs.

Other factors discouraging applications were found to be the isolated nature of the judicial role (59%, down from 66%); the judicial culture, which did not appeal to 40% (down from 50%); and the amount of travel – 43% (down from 53%). Educational and professional background were seen as strong influences on success, as were networking and contacts.

Prejudice in the selection process was felt by 56% of BAME and 59% of disabled lawyers (compared to white 45%, non-disabled 46%). Sixty eight per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lawyers (LGBT) said they would be more likely to apply if there were more openly LGBT members of the judiciary.

The potential applicants wanted more information about the selection process, judicial roles and entry requirements; more flexible working and work shadowing/mentoring schemes; greater employer support; and earlier notice of when vacancies will be advertised. More training after appointment, less reliance on references for shortlisting and more diverse role models were also cited as beneficial steps.

The Bar Council, which co-funded the research, said it would address “the concerns of some areas of the Bar” via better information on the website and its outreach programme.