Career Story: Traffic Division Manager For A County Court

Traffic Division Manager For A County Court

Job Title: Traffic Division Manager

Education: BA in Finance, Stetson University,

Previous Experience: Non Profit and Volunteer leadership

Job Tasks: I work for the State of Virginia in the Fairfax County General District Court as the Manager of the Traffic Division. I supervise and lead a staff of 36 deputy clerks as we support 6 courtrooms, 11 Judges and a caseload of 270,000+ traffic cases annually. Our Division accounts for close to $2.5 million monthly and operates two sections: payments - which receipts payments for traffic cases either in person, on the phone, online, or in the mail; payments are also set up in installments or as garnishments of wages or tax refund allotments; and court processing - which staffs the courtrooms with clerks to record the results of each case heard before a Judge as well as helps defendants, attorneys, and police officers complete paperwork, file motions, and receive certified copies of case documents.

My day is a mixture of putting out fires from electrical outages to ordering office supplies to tracking down fugitive cases or expunging records. There is never a dull day and the staff of the court are well trained, interesting and diverse. I lead my staff to be independent and supervise their sections without a lot of direct intervention on my part. My job is to make their jobs as efficient as possible by providing them all the necessary tools they need to do their work and find solutions to everyday problems they encounter. I encourage each of the clerks from the lowest to the highest to submit their ideas for the office and to take ownership in all we do. We are a team and we try to support each other rather than place blame.

A large part of my job is customer service. I am the final answer for any complaint and I am the last chance for a customer to walk away feeling like justice was served. I take that part of my job very seriously. I support the professionalism of my clerks but I have to be able to listen to the customer as well.

I travel only to visit the Supreme Court or attend necessary conferences - about 4 times a year. Some of the travel is local and other conferences are in nice areas like Virginia Beach or Atlantic City.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best parts are when you are able to help someone navigate a complicated judical system and feel good about the outcome - whether guilty or not. The worst part of job is when we are understaffed and we just can't help people in a timely way.

Job Tips:
1. The number one reason I got this job was due to confidence. I had no experience in the court system but I had experience running projects, teams, and programs for nonprofit, volunteer (unpaid) groups. I knew I could do it and I wasn't afraid to try. I had been out of the active work force for 16 years and this is my first full time job since the birth of my oldest child. Know your abilities and believe in yourself.

2. If Judicial Administration is for you there are a number of great programs out there you can study. Michigan state has an online certification program that is a good way to start. Check out your local county/state administration websites and see what opportunities are available.

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