HR Management

Resource Guide

As organizations, courts must take responsibility for human resource activities, including recruitment, professional development, and performance management.  Human resource practices strengthen the court’s delivery of services to the public, as well as create the positive morale needed to facilitate a high performance environment.

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

Featured Resources

Inaugural Court HR Summit. (2015).

NCSC and the Colorado Administrative Office of the Courts hosted the inaugural 2015 Human Resource Summit, June 15-17, 2015 in Denver, Colo. The three-day conference focused on topics related to human resources (HR) in court systems across the United States, such as succession planning, power and politics, and tackling HR challenges in the courts. 

Diversifying the Bench Guidebook: How to Become a Judicial Officer. (March 2011). The Washington State Minority and Justice Commission.

The information contained in this guidebook has been assembled to provide helpful information to those considering a judicial career and as a training resource. Users are encouraged to check sources identified for more current information.

Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2014). This handbook provides information on hundreds of different jobs and includes job descriptions, salaries, and the outlook for future opportunities.
Griller, Gordon M. Governing Loosely Coupled Courts in Times of Economic Stress. (2010). Future Trends in State Courts. Difficult financial times are giving rise to changes in trial court governance, forcing a new blend of centralized and decentralized decision making not widely experienced in the past. For some, recognizing and skillfully using these new approaches in leading trial courts might mean the difference between adapting well to these tough times or not.
Herman, Madelynn. Planning for the Future: Strategic Human Resource Management. (2005). Future Trends in State Courts.

Organizations will need to put greater effort into selecting and retaining talented employees, providing employee training and development, and changing traditional organizational structures that limit employees’ abilities to be innovative to meet the changing needs of their organization. Strategic planning will be critical to meeting these challenges.

Burke, Hon. Kevin S. It Is All About the People Who Work in the Courthouse. (2011). Future Trends in State Courts.

Tough budgetary times mean lower morale at the courthouse. This article describes what judges can do to improve staff morale and, thus, the administration of justice.


John W. Douglas Impact of Budget Shortfalls on Labor Relations. (2009). Future Trends in State Courts.

Forty-seven states are facing budget shortfalls for 2009 and will face severe fiscal problems into fiscal year 2010. Given that personnel costs consume up to 90 percent of a court's budget, this leaves hard choices for court managers working with reduced resources.

Johnson, Richard W. Managerial Attitudes Toward Older Workers: A Review of the Evidence. (September 2007). The Urban Institute From the Retirement Project sponsored by the Urban Institute, this report examines employers' assumptions and attitudes regarding recruiting, hiring, and retaining older workers, as well as specialized needs that an older workforce may present. 
Core Competency: Human Resource Management. (2004). National Association for Court Management (NACM): Core Competency Curriculum Guidelines The Core Competencies are educational tools and guidelines to help court managers come to grips with what they need to know and be able to do to meet the needs and functions of their court and professional organization.
Kuban, Gerald. Human Resources in Courts. (July 2003).

This report has detailed information regarding court personnel trends, federal law, collective bargaining, and pertinent standards relating to human resources management.

Flango, Carol et al. The Work of Appellate Court Legal Staff. (October 2000).

Every appellate court employs a legal staff to assist the justices. Staff members may include clerks of court, central staff attorneys, short-term in-chambers law clerks, and possibly career in-chambers law clerks. The literature is replete with conflicting views on whether the justices rely too much on legal staff, but there is very little information on what tasks the staff actually performs.

U.S. Department of Labor. This comprehensive website provides links to employment statistics and information employment laws, compensation and benefits within the United States. 
Different Work: A First Course in Effective Supervision.

This self-paced course is designed for new supervisors who want to learn how to become effective managers. The authors take you step-by-step through a process leading to a foundation of principles that guide you to become effective in your new management role doing "categorically different work." This course is on-going.

Human Resource Management.

Court Consulting Services has expereince in developing, modifying, and improving human resource systems.

Hiring and Recruitment

Ncube, Elizabeth. Maricopa County Trial Courts New Employee Orientation: Assimilating New Employees and Promoting Court Mission and Values. (2008). Justice System Journal (Vol. 29, No. 1).

This article examines new employee orientation programs in order to reduce turnover rates and present the court as an appealing employer.

The Employers Legal Handbook. Nolo is a provider of legal information for nonprofits, individuals, and small businesses. Their legal handbook is available online and for sale in print.
Chapter 5: EEO and Legal Issues. New Mexico State University Chapter 5 of the Search Committee Handbook, discusses the legalities of recruiting and hiring practices. 
Employment Background Checks. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse This is a job-seeker's guide to the proper uses and procedures for background checks. 

Performance Evaluation

360 Degree Feedback. These Web pages provide a comprehensive look at 360 degree feedback with an explanation of what it is, what it is used for, the benefits, how it is conducted,.  It also provides demonstration questionnaires for the use of this evaluation process.

Education and Training

Reinhard, Don. Distance Learning: It's a Matter of Mixing and Matching Adult-Learning Styles with the Education Product Offered. (December 2003).

Article discusses how distance learning programs must be matched to the specific needs of the working adult customer.

Judicial Education Reference, Information and Technical Transfer (JERITT) Project. The Judicial Education Reference, Information and Technical Transfer (JERITT) Project is the national clearinghouse for information on continuing judicial branch education for judges and other judicial officers; administrators and managers; judicial branch educators; and other key court personnel employed in the local, state, and federal courts.
Michigan Judicial Institute. Michigan Courts This institute offers seminars, Web casts, and Web-based training for judges and court staff.
NACM Core Competency Curriculum Guide: Education, Training and Development. National Association for Court Management Provides a set of informational tools to help court managers come to grips with what they need to know and be able to do to meet the needs and functions of their court and professional organization.
National Association of State Judicial Educators. This nonprofit organization, founded in 1975, strives to improve the justice system through judicial branch education.
State-Federal Judicial Education Programs. Federal Judicial Center This site lists judicial education programs since 1990 that were attended by federal and state judges. It includes national, regional, and local programs sponsored by courts, judicial councils or other judicial organizations, bar associations, and law schools.

Policy Manuals and Guidelines

Arkansas State Trial Court Employee Manual. (2007). Administrative Office of the Courts This manual provides information about compensation, benefits, leave provisions, ethics, and provisions specific to trial court assistants and official court reporters.
Dress Code Policy Statement 1007. (June 2015). Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia This dress code policy statement, effective June 11, 2007, describes the dress standards, as well as exceptions to the policy, and discipline procedures.
Revised Drug and Alcohol Policy and New Drug Testing Policy. (January 2007). This memorandum outlines the revised drug and alcohol policy and a new drug-testing policy for judiciary employees of New Mexico.
Kirven, Mary Beth and Daniel Hall. Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. (June 2003).

White paper on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Succession Planning

State of New Hampshire Succession Planning: Performance Audit. (July 2008). This New Hampshire audit of their state executive branch succession plan contains detailed information on the methodology of succession planning. This methodology is applicable to the judicial branch.
Succession Planning: Workforce Analysis, Talent Management, and Leadership Development. (2008). National Association for Court Management This NACM Mini Guide provides an introduction to succession planning; addresses why courts need to pay attention to workforce issues; identifies activities associated with succession planning; discusses generational factors within the workforce and concludes with promising practices. Note that this item may be ordered on the NACM Website. (KF8770 S83 2008)
OPM`s Workforce Planning Model. (2005). U.S. Office of Personnel Management This planning model includes an implementation action plan.
Resource and Tools: Workforce Planning. U.S. Office of Personnel Management This Web page provides numerous publications on workforce planning, including where to start and skills-analysis tools. 

Ombudsman Programs

State Ombudsman Programs. (February 2005). Juvenile Justice Bulletin This bulletin provides information on the role of the ombudsman for youth in out-of-home placements, the necessary elements for an effective ombudsman program, types of ombudsman programs, an ombudsman program as an impetus for change, examples of state ombudsman programs, and ombudsman resource organizations.
Children`s Ombudsman Offices. (March 2014). National Council of State Legislatures

These offices handle complaints against government/justice agencies that serve children.

Ombudsman Programs in the Court and Justice System.

(December 2013) Law Library, Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County

This document provides links to assorted resources relating to Ombudsmen programs including articles, reports, web resources, as well as Arizona-specific statutes.

National Associations and Resources

Academy of Human Resources Development. This membership organization conducts research on human resource development.
American Payroll Association. A membership association providing education and training on payroll.  Their library also provides a host of guides and reference materials.
National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). NAPA is a nonprofit, independent coalition of public management and organizational leaders.  They host several chapters, including the Management Studies Center and the Intergovernmental Center.
National Human Resources Association. This organization is a network of local affiliates focused on advancing the development of the human-resource profession.
Society for Human Resource Management. This professional human-resource management association offers a certification program for human-resource professionals.  Association members are also provided access to their HR Knowledge Center.
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. This comprehensive Web site provides information on wages, earnings, benefits, health and safety, industries, employment outlook, etc.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This organization provides information on federal EEO laws, discriminatory practices, statistics, covered entities of EEO laws, and how to file a claim of discrimination against an employer.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The OPM provides information/links for job seekers, federal employees, retirees, and families, as well as human-resource practitioners and agencies.