Using the judiciary of Manitoba as a model, Paths to the Bench examines the political nature of Canada’s judicial appointment process and suggests that ability alone seldom determined who went to the bench. In fact, many of Manitoba’s early judges spent little time actually practising law, since professional merit was not a criterion for judicial appointments. Rather, it was relationships with influential mentors and communities that ensured appointments and ultimately propelled careers. Brawn offers an in-depth analysis of how the paths to the bench of competent and connected and less competent and connected lawyers differed. This book is one of the few studies to examine why many of the best and brightest members of the bar either did not want to go to the bench, or if they did, why they did not get there.