How Staffing Works at the 4th Court

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Recently, the 4th Court has posted numerous job openings, with several staff attorneys and the clerk of the court having recently left the court. I frequently get asked how staffing works at the 4th Court. If the 4th Court has an organizational chart, I’ve never seen it. I’d be surprised if one exists because the organization of the court is difficult to depict. (I tried drawing it several times, and it looked like the graphic above, so I gave up.)

Here it is in words.

The court consists of a Chief Justice and six Justices; “Associate Justice” is a term used for all non-chief justices on the Supreme Court of the United States, but Texas law simply uses the term “justice,” not “associate justice,” for judges on appellate courts with civil jurisdiction. See Chapter 22, Texas Gov’t Code. At the 4th Court, the chief justice and other justices hire (1) a chief staff attorney who acts as both a staff attorney and the court’s general counsel, (2) one central staff attorney who handles original proceedings, and (3) the clerk of the court. The clerk of the court is the only non-judge at the court who manages staff.

Other than the central staff attorney who handles original proceedings, the court employs 14 staff attorneys, which includes the chief staff attorney. For nearly 20 years, the chief staff attorney has been assigned to work with the chief justice. The chief justice works with one other staff attorney in their chambers. The other justices each work with two staff attorneys, who they hire. Under the clerk of the court is the chief deputy clerk, several deputy clerks, and other administrative employees.

For current and future employment opportunities, visit the 4th Court’s website at https://www.txcourts.gov/4thcoa/careers (see below).

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