High Performance Courts

The High Performance Court Framework suggests a series of flexible steps courts can take to integrate performance improvement into its ongoing operations.

The steps include:

  • focusing on key administrative principles that clarify high performance,
  • understanding how a court’s managerial culture can promote common goals and collegial cooperation,
  • developing the capacity to measure performance
  • learning to use the results for procedural refinements and communication with a variety of stakeholders.

Taken together the steps form a functional system or quality cycle that courts can follow in enhancing the quality of the administration of justice.

Click here to watch the High Performance Courts video.

Read about the Framework and other performance resources online > 

Framework Summary  (pdf) from NCSC Working Paper Series  

The suite of NCSC tools available for courts striving to improve their performance and build capacity includes:


CourTools is a set of ten trial court performance measures that offers court managers a balanced perspective on court operations. Published in a visual and accessible how-to format, the ten CourTools measures:

  • Reflect the fundamental mission and vision of the courts
  • Focus on outcomes
  • Are feasible, practical, and few

View CourTools >


Court culture assessment

The concept of "local legal culture" is often used but rarely explained. Brian Ostrom and colleagues have succeeded in specifying what court organizational culture is, developed a method to assess it, a typology to classify it, and a method for using it to help manage organizational change in the state courts.

More on organizational management >


Workload assessment

The NCSC is the leader in workload assessment for courts and their justice system partners. The sophisticated, multimethod approach to translating caseload in to workload is a highly participatory process allowing for incorporation of effective practice that ensure efficiency and quality of justice.

More on workload assessment >


Case Processing Time Standards

This database compiles state-by-state information about case processing time standards and how states monitor them.

View the standards >


Model Time Standards for State Trial Courts

More on the standards >