A court clerk is an employee in the public sector, typically working for city or county governments. The clerk assists in setting up the court for judges and is typically present within the court during hearings and procedures. The clerk also performs record-keeping and data-entry duties for the court and jurisdiction he or she works for. The clerk typically also interfaces with the public during non-courtroom times, helping assist with the filing of paperwork and similar procedures.
The primary job of a court clerk is to ensure that the courtroom is properly prepared each day for the judge. This includes preparing and organizing all relevant files and documentation for the judge based on that particular day's docket. Most of the time, the court clerk also administers any oaths to witnesses called to testify. The clerk also administers the handling of receiving fines and related ancillary fees and court costs.
Before, after, and between hearings, the court clerk makes data entries based upon the rulings of the court, accurately entering all actions and decisions along with fees paid or owed into a central records system. The court clerk also helps with the proper collection and retention of necessary documents for the jurisdiction, and they may assist the public in providing the proper forms for a variety of applications and other related filings. In large jurisdictions, the court clerk may have his or her own administrative assistant or staff to help in the daily performance of these duties.
To work as a court clerk, a person must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Typically, the employing court or jurisdiction also prefers at least two to three years of practical administrative and clerk-type work within local government. Because of the need for familiarity with courtroom procedures, many prospective applicants for this job seek out vocational school programs tailored to court reporting or paralegal disciplines.
Court Clerk Tasks
Organize and archive all court documentation, employee records, and legal documents.
Review case files and provide information to judges, attorneys, and citizens.
Supervise trial activities and jury management, including training and evaluating other clerks.
Prepare court docket and schedule hearings, and notify the appropriate parties.