…and they require a lot more manpower than what the public might see at first glance. Courts need judges, clerks, and staff attorneys, to be sure — but they also need custodians, security officers, chefs, IT professionals, accountants, operations administrators, and every other type of job that allows large organizations to operate smoothly.
That point was recently driven home by this quirky job posting on the website for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado:
Apply for the full-time position of Database Specialist or Programmer for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, and join us as a respected and valued cog of the massive federal bureaucracy.
We work eight-hour days, rarely ever work after hours, and are not on call. Best of all, we have a benefits package that even the largest corporate conglomerate can’t (read won’t) offer, including a healthcare plan shared by members of the Supreme Court, all Federal Holidays off, amazing amounts of paid leave and separate sick leave, inclusion in one of the best rated, lowest cost retirement funds, and wait for it . . . a generous, guaranteed annuity (pension) backed by the Federal Government! You can work and have a life.
This job description is not exactly imbued with the deep solemnity that John Roberts tries to cultivate in all aspects of the federal courts’ public persona. But perhaps that is the point. It’s a job posting for a database specialist, not a judge, and is (evidently) written to attract the best candidates for that specific position. Some database specialists may dream of working specifically in the court system. But I suspect that most don’t care too much about the organization’s day-to-day work, as long as the job is interesting, pays well, and has good benefits.
Bravo to the supervisors who allowed this posting to go up, and for giving us glimpse into the real people who make the courts run.