Criminal Justice School Info

Court Clerk Job Description

The general court clerk job description is managing all of the administrative and clerical functions related to running a court. Although that may sound simple and straightforward, there are a lot of different tasks included in that general description. Some of the broad topics included in a court clerk job description are:

  • Managing court records
  • Trials
  • Customer service
  • Miscellaneous functions

A court clerk plays a fundamental role in the judicial system. The fact is that a courtroom would not be able to operate with without a highly competent court clerk to handle its day to day operations.



Court Clerk Job Functions

Managing Court Records - This is perhaps the largest component of a court clerk job description and it encompasses a variety of tasks. These can include processing legal documents, scheduling court cases, and auditing files to ensure accuracy and consistency within the court records. Court clerks will also prepare, file and forward documents and case files.

Trials - The court clerk job description changes a bit during a trial. The first task is to assemble the documents and materials that are required for court proceedings to take place. This includes identifying and requesting material that is missing from the files. The clerk will be responsible for reviewing all of the documents that are submitted to the court to ensure the described procedures are accurate. They will also record minutes of the proceedings and transcribe them. Some court clerks will also administer the oath taken by the jurors and witnesses.

Another critical function of a court clerk is to prepare and maintain the docket of scheduled cases. When the trial has been completed, the court clerk must record the witness testimonies, results, court orders and any fines from the court.

Customer Service - There is a customer service component as part of most court clerk work. They are responsible for notifying participants of trial details. They also handle the arrangement and recordation of payments for fees, fines and court costs.

Miscellaneous Functions - Many court clerks handle other functions based upon the organization of the jurisdiction. Some of these duties can include processing passports and swearing in new citizens of the country. Many court clerk job duties also include managing official documents related to mortgages, marriage licenses and deeds.


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Court Clerk Job Duties & Other Careers

Many people confuse the duties of a court clerk with those of a law clerk. The function of a court clerk is to assist in the administration of the court to ensure it runs smoothly. A law clerk is more involved in legal matters. They will do research on legal matters, and prepare legal documents based on the research they uncovered. Law clerks typically work for attorneys or judges.

One of the court clerk duties that was listed as taking minutes for the trail. This should not be confused with the role of a court reporter. The court reporter is responsible for creating an exact, verbatim account of everything was spoken. A court clerk is only documenting the minutes and general happenings within the courtroom.

The specific details of a court clerk job description will depend upon the specific position you have and the type of court you work in. There are many entry level positions that are mostly clerical in nature, but there is room to advance your career as you gain experience. More experienced court clerks can advance to larger courts and larger cities where there are opportunities to act in a supervisory nature for other court clerks. Obtaining a degree will help you to make these advances much more quickly.