Court Improvement Director

SUMMARY:  This position, reporting to the Director of the Intergovernmental Affairs Division, is responsible for visionary planning, organizing, directing, monitoring, and evaluating activities in the administration of the state and federal Court Improvement Program (“CIP”) grantsthat are invested for the continued improvement of children, youth, and families in Tennessee’s juvenile court and child welfare system. The CIP Director manages participation of multi-jurisdictional stakeholder partners in achieving compliance with state and federal laws and programs. The position serves as a lead liaison, including serving as the AOC’s representative on numerous judicial and statewide committees relative to child welfare policy and system improvement. The Director identifies, develops and implements changes to judicial programs and/or court processes and practices to improve the efficiency/effectiveness and integrity of court operations and court staff. The Director develops and oversees many aspects of data collection from juvenile courts. The Director also acts as legal counsel on juvenile laws, rules, and practices. Work is performed with considerable independence and involves highly responsible managerial and professional legal work. This is a state employment position funded by federal grants to the Tennessee Supreme Court.


  • Seeks public and other funding for court improvement and training programs related to child dependency and child welfare as assigned and determined by the AOC.
  • Oversees grant spending and projects under three separate federal grants by submitting annual grant applications, developing strategic plans, preparing annual reports for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Children’s Bureau, attending annual CIP national conferences.
  • Oversees and engages the CIP Work Group pursuant to federal regulations and assists in the appointment of outstanding knowledgeable members by the TN Supreme Court.
  • Hires, supervises, and evaluates CIP staff, including CIP attorney, statistician, and project/administrative positions. Oversees daily operations, onboarding, orientation, and training.
  • Supervises current projects and promotes new initiatives in a manner consistent with CIP goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan, evidence-based practices, and TN Supreme Court and AOC priorities.
  • Drafts and monitors project contracts utilizing grant funding as needed; maintains and tracks court improvement budget.
  • Provides effective consultation to the AOC Director and members of the TN Supreme Court in defining and implementing legislative strategies; develops strategies to achieve legislative goals; drafts legislation and amendments to court rules.
  • Develops and defends legislative positions; provides legislative testimony as needed; attends and actively participates in legislative committee meetings and works with members actively involved in the improvement of foster care and adoption in TN, including several specific subcommittees as established by the General Assembly.
  • Researches and remains current on child welfare and juvenile justice law and initiatives, both locally and nationally.
  • Trains and provides ongoing technical assistance to judges, court staff, Guardians ad Litem, and attorneys regarding child welfare and juvenile justice law and best practices.
  • Trains and provides ongoing technical assistance in the implementation of the CIP-funded juvenile court case management system in order for CIP to obtain reliable juvenile court data.
  • Oversees and Manages implementation of a statewide juvenile case management system process; reports and consults with the Governor’s office and General Assembly on progress made and future needs.
  • Researches legal matters; compiles and edits materials; and prepares publications, reports, manuals, and related written materials.
  • Establishes positive partnerships with and assists local courts, executive agencies, nonprofit and advocacy groups, and lawmakers.
  • Serves on numerous statewide committees, including the Connecting for Children’s Justice Conference task force to develop and produce an annual conference.
  • Participates with the Department of Children’s Services in federal Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Review, Child and Family Service Reviews, including the Program Improvement Plan, Child and Family Service Plans and Annual Progress and Services Reports.
  • Provides information, assessment, consultation, support and recommendations to AOC, courts, departments, agencies, associations, and other boards and commissions on child welfare matters to achieve consistent, efficient, and effective programs and operations.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Education and/or Experience:  Bachelor’s degree andJuris Doctorate degree with a minimum of five years as a licensed attorney with experience in juvenile court, court litigation, and child welfare and juvenile justice law. Experience in personnel supervision and program management is strongly preferred. Relevant other child welfare public policy experience may substitute for the required legal experience.

Other Requirements:

  • Must possess a valid Tennessee driver’s license.
  • Must be able to travel (to include overnight travel) as the position requires.
  • Must exercise absolute confidentiality when required; avoid conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest.

NOTICE:This position requires a criminal background check. Therefore, you will be required to provide information about your criminal history in order to be considered for this position.

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

Location: Nashville
Department: Administrative Office of the Courts
Position Available: Immediately
Position Closing: This position will remain open until filled

To Apply

Submit aa current resume, completed Application for Employment (PDF), three writing samples, and three professional references by email to

Thank you for taking time to submit your information for consideration. Applicants will not receive communication regarding your submission unless you are called to clarify or to schedule an interview.

For more information: please email: