Court Clerk Career, Job, Degrees and Training Information

Court clerks process legal documents and perform other court related functions.

Court clerks schedule court cases, notify participants of trial details, and prepare post, file, and route documents and case folders. Clerks review submitted court documents to make sure the described procedures are accurate, and they must correct any listed errors on documents.

Clerks verify case folders prior to each trial and make sure important records and documents are placed in each folder. If there are any missing documents, clerks must request copies. Clerks retrieve information for judges, collect information from attorneys and witnesses, and supply the district attorney with information. Clerks prepare forms needed by the judge for trials.

Clerks administer oaths to witnesses and record the minutes of a trial. After a trial has completed, they record witness testimonies, case results, court orders, and fines issued by the court. They also collect and record court fees or fines.

Clerks file public records such as mortgages, marriage licenses, and deeds.

Education and Training Requirements

Individuals pursuing a career as a court clerk must at minimum possess high school diplomas or a GED, although two years of college or business school may be required for some positions. Bachelor's degrees are preferred by most courts, and many federal court clerks have earned a master's degree or law degree. Court clerks must also be skilled in bookkeeping, word processing, business and personnel management, budgeting, and accounting.

Working Conditions

Court clerks usually work in an office setting and are often required to stand or sit for long periods of time performing copying, filing and administrative work. Court clerks generally work a 5-day, 40-hour week. Their schedules may vary according to state or federal laws, jurisdictional rules and judge orders or orders from others with the power to regulate work hours.

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