The Judicial System
The federal judiciary system includes the U.S. Supreme Court, twelve regional courts of appeals, and district courts, all operating in ninetyfour federal judicial districts. In addition to the federal courts, there are numerous state and county courthouses across the country. If you’ve ever wanted to experience what it’s like to work inside a courthouse, you might consider a job as a court officer, clerk, court reporter, or corrections officer.
Court officers, also known as bailiffs or marshals, are the law-enforcement officers who maintain safety and order in courtrooms. Their duties vary by location but include enforcing courtroom rules, assisting judges, guarding juries from outside contact, delivering court documents, and providing security for courthouses.
When you see court officers depicted on television (in shows such as Night Court and Judge Judy), you might note that their workload seems light; it consists mostly of bringing documents from the litigants to the judge. Do not be misled. For one thing, the bailiff is the messenger who brings the important verdict from the jury to the judge. More importantly, bailiffs are also law-enforcement officers who are sometimes called to action, and some have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Each state and local judicial system has its own guidelines, so check with your local courthouse to find its hiring practices and policies. Most judicial systems do not have an upper age limit, however. Typically, if you are in your late thirties and want to be a lawenforcement officer, you might as well give up any notions of starting as a rookie at the federal, state, or local level. But that is not always the case for court officers. In the New York City court systems, for