A small number of positions in the court system are filled as personal appointments. Typically, the appointments are made by judges to titles such as Law Clerk to Judge and Secretary to Judge. Employees in these positions assist individual judges with legal research and analysis and help with casework and legal correspondence.
The Court System Selects Qualified Candidates through:
- The civil service system for competitive positions;
- Job postings and interviews for non-competitive positions; and
- Personal appointments of Judges to certain positions (e.g., Law Clerk to Judge)
See the Careers in the Courts link above for a brochure that provides information on the application process and outlines career progression through the competitive Civil Service Exam process, legal, managerial and administrative professions. The brochure also illustrates career ladders within job series and outlines opportunities to move between series.
Civil Service Exams: Merit and Fitness-based Selection
The civil service system was adopted by the federal and state governments in response to the hiring practices of the ‘spoils’ system. Civil service tests were created to make the hiring and promotion process fair by basing the hiring and promotion solely on test-takers’ performance on these tests. New York State implemented the civil service system in 1894 and mandated that appointments to government positions be made through the competitive civil service examination on the basis of merit and fitness. The mandate applies to positions in government where testing for merit and fitness is feasible. This includes most positions in the court system.
Job Postings and the Interview Panel Selection Process
Some titles in the court system are classified as non-competitive. Qualifications for these titles are not assessed by the competitive testing process because it is not feasible or practical to administer a competitive test. Non-competitive employees work in professions such as legal, information technology, human resources, and social services. Hiring and promotion are based on job experience and education. Typically, qualifications are evaluated by an interview panel. The interview panel reviews candidates’ resumes, conducts interviews and rates candidates on job-relevant criteria.