Career Talk With Our Court Clerks

Senior Court Clerks Jackie Oates and Anthony Dorsey (middle) with our BCS interns
The following post was written by Bronx Community Solutions' Compliance Coordinator, Lovis Nelson-Williams.  Among the many hats she wears, Lovis organizes a quarterly "Career Talk", an opportunity for BCS interns to learn about the many career opportunities within our court system. 
“Upward mobility”, “job security” and “lifelong friendships”.  These are key words used by Senior Court Clerks Jackie Oates and Anthony Dorsey to describe working for the New York Unified Court System.  Ms. Oates and Mr. Dorsey were invited to speak with Bronx Community Solutions’ interns as part of a quarterly career talk hosted by BCS.  The two clerks provided an overview of how they came into their careers and insight into their role in the courts.  Oates and Dorsey have both previously worked in the private sector and were able to lay out many benefits to working in the public sector.  From amazing health benefits to unionized protections (that provided job security even during the economic downturn), both recommended that our interns seek out employment in the court system.  In addition, BCS interns learned about the promotional exams that allow for a tremendous amount of room to grow in the profession of court clerk (which includes financial as well as task-oriented growth).

We learned that court clerks are also considered peace officers, can perform arrests and are able to carry firearms.  Mr. Dorsey and Ms. Oates work together in the Bronx’s arraignment court, which handles everything from approving search warrants to general arraignment work (seeing defendants upon their first contact with a judge).  Court clerks are known as “New York’s Smartest” because of the comprehensive knowledge required of the role; clerks must be well-versed in civil, criminal and housing court procedures.

Ms. Oates and Mr. Dorsey, like many court employees, have years of experience working in the court system.  In this time they have forged lasting friendships and familial bonds.  They expressed an appreciation for a work environment that “doesn’t even feel like you’re going to work.”  As with any family, there will always be rough patches but the general consensus is that embarking on their careers in the courts has been one of the best decisions that they have ever made.