Workload and Resource Assessment

Resource Guide

An empirically driven measurement of court workload is essential to the judicial system’s ability to efficiently handle its caseload. By weighting different types of cases to account for variations in complexity and the need for judicial attention, the weighted caseload method of workload assessment translates the number of cases that come before the court into the total amount of judicial work required to dispose of those cases. The result is an objective and standardized measure of judicial workload that provides an effective tool for negotiating with funding authorities, appropriately targeting reductions in judgeships necessitated by budget shortfalls and changing demographics, and redrawing jurisdictional boundaries to use resources more effectively and enhance access.

National map showing completed workload assessments in the states

See the states where NCSC has performed workload assessments, and the types of projects completed.

The National Center for State Courts is widely recognized as the international leader in workload assessment for judges, public defenders, prosecutors, and their support staff. NCSC’s workload assessment methodology and data collection instruments have been refined over the course of more than 50 studies spanning over 20 years. More than 25 states currently rely upon NCSC weighted caseload formulas to determine the need for judges, court staff, prosecutors, and/or public defenders, support funding requests, and allocate justice system personnel within the state in an efficient and equitable fashion.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Links

Kleiman, Matthew, Cynthia G. Lee and Brian J. Ostrom. Workload Assessment: A Data-Driven Management Tool for the Judicial Branch. (2013).

This article from the 2013 edition of The Book of the States explains the weighted caseload method of workload assessment and provides practical examples of how states have used weighted caseload models.

Flango, Victor and Brian Ostrom. Assessing the Need for Judges and Court Support Staff. (June 1996). National Center for State Courts: Williamsburg, VA

This classic handbook provides an overview of various methods of assessing the need for judges and court support staff.

Matthew Kleiman and Cynthia J. Lee North Carolina Assistant District Attorney/Victim Witness Legal Assistant Workload Assessment. (March 2010).

National Center for State Courts.

This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the number of Assistant District Attorneys and Victim Witness Legal Assistants required for the effective prosecution of cases in North Carolina.

Workflow Management Systems Vendors.

Workflow Management Systems Vendors from the Court Technology Vendor List.

Recent Projects

Lee, Cynthia G., Matthew Kleiman and Brian J. Ostrom. West Virginia Magistrate Court Workload Assessment.. (December 2014). National Center for State Courts.
Ostrom, Brian J., Matthew Kleiman, Cynthia G. Lee and Shannon Roth. Assessing the Feasibility of Implementing a Senior Judge System in the District and Circuit Courts of Virginia. (November 2014). National Center for State Courts.
Douglas, John, Suzanne Tallarico, Erika Freiss and Will Wills. West Virginia Family Court Judges Workload Needs Assessment. (September 2014). National Center for State Courts.
Douglas, John, Suzanne Tallarico, Erika Freiss and Will Willis. West Virginia Circuit Court Judge Workload Study. (July 2014). National Center for State Courts.
Tallarico, Suzanne, John Douglas, Kristi Rosten, and Scott Taylor. Colorado Community Parole Officer Time and Workload Assessment Study. (May 2014). National Center for State Courts.
Tallarico, Suzanne, John Douglas, and Erika Freiss. Colorado Adult and Juvenile Probation Workload Values Update. (May 2014). National Center for State Courts.
Ostrom, Brian J., Matthew Kleiman, Cynthia G. Lee, and Shannon Roth. Virginia Judicial Workload Assessment. (November 2013). National Center for State Courts.