Deputy Court Clerk

Clerk handing a file to someone in the courthouse
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Career Overview

Are you trying to decide whether or not you’d like to enter a legal career in the future? If so, the job of deputy court clerk may be something worth looking into. A deputy court clerk position would allow you to experience the law in real time and would also facilitate a close working relationship with a judge. If you’re not sure you want to pursue a career in a legal field and want an introduction to the field, the job of a deputy court clerk may be for you.

Deputy court clerks, also known as assistant court clerks, perform a variety of administrative duties in the city, county, state and federal court systems. They also provide customer service to the public, judicial officers, attorneys, and staff.

With experience and education, deputy court clerks can advance to the position of court clerk and chief court clerk.

Duties

Typical deputy court clerk duties include some or all of the following tasks:

  •  Assisting and responding to inquiries from attorneys, judicial officers, the law enforcement community and the general public;
  •  Preparing, reviewing and processing legal documents, correspondence, motions, and orders;
  •  Completing court-related forms such as petitions and warrants;
  •  Collecting fines, fees and bond payments;
  •  Preparing the dockets of scheduled cases;
  •  Recording documentation of name changes, marriage licenses, business licenses and  adoption records;
  •  Balancing and reconciling daily cash receipts;
  • Administering oaths to witnesses in court;
  • Keeping the minutes during a trial

Education and Experience

Most deputy court clerk positions require a high school diploma or GED and several years’ clerical or administrative experience, preferably in a legal setting.

A bachelor’s degree may be required or preferred in some jurisdictions.

Skills and Knowledge

Deputy court clerks must possess solid English grammar, math, and computer skills. A knowledge of local court rules; legal terminology; jury management systems; hazardous evidence handling; court records maintenance, retention and destruction; local community services; and physical security and evacuation procedures are also necessary. In almost all cases, there are also several weeks of on-the-job training at the beginning of a new court clerk’s employment in order to brush up and polish the necessary skills needed for the day-to-day tasks of a court clerk.

Salaries

Salaries vary depending on education, experience, region and type of court (city, county, state, federal). Typical annual deputy clerk salaries range from the $27,000 to the mid-forties with an average salary of about $35,000.

While it is definitely possible to make an entire career out of being a deputy court clerk, it can also be a nice stepping stone into other legal careers. Whether you are thinking of making the job of court clerk your permanent career or you’re looking for a way to enter the legal field without a lot of training, looking for a job as a court clerk can provide you with excellent experience for the future.

Even though it isn’t necessarily a glamorous job, court clerks are a very important part of the legal system, and out justice system wouldn’t function as we understand it without them.

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