Judiciary Court Clerk: Job Description and Requirements

Judiciary court clerks require little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and employment outlook to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Judiciary court clerks manage dockets and records to provide administrative support for judicial proceedings in state courts. This detail-oriented job usually takes place in an office setting, and court clerks handle such tasks as contacting involved parties and answering any inquiries about court proceedings. Education and training requirements can vary by employer. Minimum education ranges from a high school diploma or the equivalent to a 2- or 4-year college degree. New hires typically receive on-the-job training, but some employers prefer candidates with a couple of years of relevant experience, too.

Required Education High school diploma or equivalent; college degree sometimes preferred
Other Requirements On-the-job training is common; relevant experience sometimes preferred
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 11% for court, municipal and license clerks*
Median Annual Salary (2013) $35,130 for court, municipal and license clerks*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of a Judiciary Court Clerk

Judiciary court clerks, also referred to as court specialists and judicial assistants, are not to be confused with court reporters, since most of their daily tasks take place outside of the courtroom in an office setting. They provide clerical support for judges and state court proceedings, such as arranging trial dates, scheduling court appearances, sending court orders and managing court fee payments. In addition to processing court decisions, clerks also answer inquiries about judicial procedures and court logistics. Some clerks may manage paperwork on the selection of a jury and keep track of court performance statistics.

As part of maintaining and managing court office records, judiciary clerks may serve as liaisons to collect basic information from attorneys, witnesses, plaintiffs and defendants. Official clerk responsibilities may vary considerably by court, but judicial court clerks can expect to play an active role in preparing case calendars and maintaining court budgets.

Requirements to be a Judiciary Court Clerk

Court clerks need to possess at least a high school diploma, but some courts require an associate's or bachelor's degree in business, public administration, criminal justice or another law-related field. Skills may be learned through on-the-job training, although preferred applicants have some knowledge of legal procedures and terminology. Some employers may also require potential judiciary court clerks to have 1-2 years experience in administrative assisting. Court clerk training programs can be completed in a matter of weeks and typically cover electronic filing, accounting practices, legal references and court procedures.

Court clerks must be highly organized, familiar with office technology and effective at communication. They must be comfortable with public interaction, especially when dealing with complaints, since they'll usually be the first contact when involved parties have questions about court arrangements.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Court, municipal and license clerks are expected to have 11% growth in job openings over the 2012-2022 decade, an average rate of increase, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The same agency reported a May 2013 median wage of $35,130 for court, municipal and license clerks.

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