Local Court Clerk Completes Certification Training

F. Barry Wilkes, Clerk of the Superior Court of Liberty County recently completed the Superior Court Clerks' Certificate Program. The continuing education program that was created, promoted, and sponsored by the Superior Court Clerks of Georgia in partnership with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a division of the University of Georgia, to promote professionalism within the ranks of the 159 superior court clerks of the state.

"I have always believed that continuing and specialized education is critical to this office, since my job as clerk requires me to stay abreast of laws, rules, and new procedures that relate to the intricate administrative and clerical duties performance I am required to perform as clerk. So, I try to participate in educational programs whenever they are available. This (certified clerks') training program not only provides essential training, but affords me the opportunity to become one of the state's certified superior court clerks after I complete the curriculum," Wilkes said.

Completion of the certification program requires participation in a two-year, regimented specialized curriculum designed specifically for superior court clerks by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Superior Court Clerks' Training Council. Upon completion of the program, participants must complete a project paper that is evaluated by a team consisting of representatives of the Institute of Government, which coordinates all training events, and a superior court clerk selected by the Superior Court Clerks' Training Council. Transcripts and records for the program are maintained by the institute.

The certificate program includes courses of study in professional and vocational development, including financial management, leadership development, communication, managing human resources, legal research, case management, real and personal property, jury management, inter- and intra-governmental relations, professionalism and ethics in public service, change management, conflict resolution, compliance with open records and open meetings statutes, and records management. Participants must participate annually in a training component relating to new technology and legislation.

Only clerks of superior court serving in office are eligible to participate in the program's intensive educational curriculum, which consists of ten required and two elective courses, each six hours in length. Courses are held in conjunction and concurrent with regularly mandated training for superior court clerks.