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Programs and Resources for All Court Employees

Avoiding Ethics Pitfalls

This e-learning program on ethics is designed for staff working in appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts. It covers the canons presented in the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees and relevant statutes to daily activities
  • Identify areas in which ethical issues most often arise for clerk’s office staff (e.g., gifts and honoraria, confidentiality, misuse of position, outside employment, outside activities, and political activity)
  • Respond appropriately to ethical challenges

Competencies: Integrity, Problem Solving, Quality-Driven

Chambers Online Automation Training

This e-learning program is designed for chambers staff. It covers a wide range of topics related to information technology (IT), such as how to complete tasks using the electronic case management system; efficient use of available software for research, communication, and record keeping; working remotely; and cyber security.

Code of Conduct

When confronted with ethical challenges, court personnel must recognize and choose the appropriate course of action if the public’s trust in the judiciary is to be maintained. The Code of Conduct program helps court employees deal with a range of ethical issues. The program is taught by Center-trained facilitators and is divided into two segments: a review of the Code of Conduct and group discussions of ethics scenarios. Over 100 scenarios in 12 categories (e.g., social media, political activities, gifts, practicing law and pro bono work, and outside activities) are available, enabling the customization of the program to each court unit’s needs.

Learning Objectives

  • Anticipate situations that could present ethical questions for employees of the courts
  • Describe the behaviors required by the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees
  • Determine an appropriate course of action by analyzing situations in the context of the Code

Competencies: Integrity, Problem Solving, Quality Driven

Court to Court Series

Court to Court is a documentary-style video program for all federal court employees. It features activities and initiatives at court units around the country in order to share information and ideas, foster a sense of identity, and enhance the work of the courts. The Center produces about four new 12- to 15-minute programs each year.

Federal Court Leadership Development Program

This 12-month program is open to staff with at least three years of work experience in appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, circuit offices, and probation and pretrial services offices. It helps participants develop their leadership knowledge and skills and prepare for future leadership roles. The program includes one 2.5-day in-person seminar, one 1.5-day in-person workshop, a two- to three-day site visit, an in-district process-improvement project, and several self-study components.

Learning Objectives

  • Practice habits that enhance their leadership effectiveness
  • Improve a work process using a structured model
  • Conduct crucial conversations with colleagues
  • Use emotional intelligence skills when interacting with others
  • Create a long-term professional development plan

Competencies: Communication, Composure, Inspiration, Integrity and Trust, Interpersonal Savvy, Mission-Focused, Personal and Professional Development, Results-Driven. 

Inside the Federal Courts

This interactive e-learning program introduces federal court employees to aspects of the federal courts outside of their specific job responsibilities. The program teaches how the courts work, how they are organized, and how they fit into the U.S. system of government. This program is also available on the Center’s public website to help interested students, the media, and the public learn more about the federal courts.

Introduction to Project Management

This program provides a basic understanding of project management principles for use in the courts. The program is ideal for court staff who are seeking an introduction to project management and who have limited or no experience with project management principles. Participants learn how to plan, schedule, and manage projects.

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish what a project is and is not
  • Identify the characteristics of a successful project and project manager
  • Delineate the roles of team members and stakeholders
  • Develop a project definition document
  • Identify tools for implementing work schedules
  • List the right questions to ask when planning a project
  • Create a network sequence diagram for a project

Competencies: Collaboration, Problem Solving, Self-Development

Is It Legal Advice?

This e-learning program reviews the knowledge and skills needed to answer the public’s questions on rules and procedures without offering inappropriate advice. Two versions of the program are available: one for staff working in appellate and district courts and one for staff working in bankruptcy courts.

Learning Objectives

  • Answer questions on court rules and procedures while avoiding giving legal advice or inappropriate answers
  • Handle challenging customer service situations using the H.E.L.P. model

Competencies: Communication, Court System Awareness, Customer Service

Meet on Common Ground: Speaking Up for Respect in the Workplace

Everyone shares the desire to be treated with respect. This program provides an approach for addressing differences, such as generational, cultural, or religious, which can be the root causes of disrespect among co-workers. Participants learn the M.E.E.T. method and learn how they can use it to resolve differences and promote a respectful and tolerant workplace. The method contains four steps: (M) make time to discuss the situation, (E) explore differences, (E) encourage respect, and (T) take responsibility.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the benefits of mutual respect in the workplace
  • Explain the importance of personal responsibility in promoting respect in the workplace
  • Use the four steps in the M.E.E.T. method to help promote a mutually respectful work environment

Competencies: Collaboration, Communication, Problem Solving

Personality Temperament Instrument

In this workshop, participants complete a personality instrument that identifies four common personality types. Through individual and group exercises, they explore how the four personality types are similar and different. They examine ways the different personality types can communicate and interact effectively with each other in the workplace. This workshop is taught by Center-trained facilitators.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify one’s own personality type
  • Describe the characteristics of four personality types
  • Describe different ways people process information based on their personality type
  • Use appropriate techniques to communicate more effectively with others

Competencies: Flexibility, Communication, Self-Development

Preventing Workplace Harassment

In this program for court employees, participants learn what workplace harassment is and what it is not, how to minimize the occurrence of workplace harassment, how to deal with harassment if it arises, and what to do if they are involved in a workplace harassment investigation.

Learning Objectives

  • Define workplace harassment
  • Explain the terms “hostile work environment” and “quid pro quo harassment”
  • State the kinds of behavior that may be interpreted as workplace harassment
  • Name at least three mechanisms for dealing with workplace harassment
  • Identify key provisions of the complaint procedure specified in their court unit’s Employment Dispute Resolution plan
  • Explain what to do when involved in a workplace harassment investigation

Competencies: Integrity, Communication, Problem Solving

Structured Writing

This one-day program teaches the fundamentals of structured writing, a method of analyzing, organizing, and presenting text so that it can be quickly read and understood. It is an ideal method for formatting e-mails, web pages, and printed documents, such as procedure manuals, proposals, and instructional guides.

Learning Objectives

  • Define structured writing
  • List the seven principles of structured writing
  • Apply the principles to a variety of documents
  • Use the structured writing tool to format documents

Competencies: Communication, Quality-Driven, Problem Solving

Time Management

This program presents a three-step approach to time management that can be used at work and at home.

Learning Objectives

  • State three steps for managing incomplete tasks
  • Describe at least four time management tips and techniques
  • Select three practices to adopt to improve personal time management

Competencies: Flexibility, Problem Solving, Quality-Driven