Career Development

What Does a Court Assistant Do?

Find out what a court assistant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a court assistant.

Court assistants are the behind-the-scenes workers of the legal system. They’re responsible for handling a wide range of administrative tasks related to court proceedings, including scheduling hearings and meetings, taking notes on proceedings, transcribing audio recordings of hearings, and filing documents with the appropriate court or agency.

Court assistants may also be tasked with providing basic customer service to individuals who interact with the courts—this might include helping people find the right courtroom or informing them about what steps they need to take next in their case.

Court Assistant Job Duties

Court assistants have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Preparing transcripts of court proceedings or other documents using computer software programs
  • Providing administrative support for judges by scheduling hearings and trials, ordering transcripts, updating dockets, and maintaining court records
  • Using computer software such as word processing programs, spreadsheets, and presentation programs
  • Maintaining the physical integrity of the courtroom by monitoring proceedings, tracking courtroom activity, and maintaining order
  • Recording witness testimony during trials by operating a sound recording device or making written notes
  • Scheduling court proceedings, including setting dates, filing paperwork with the court clerk, and arranging for witnesses and lawyers to appear at trials or hearings
  • Determining whether cases have been resolved by reviewing court records to locate case files
  • Organizing and maintaining court records, including case files, transcripts, and exhibits
  • Serving as an intermediary between the judge, lawyers, and other court staff members

Court Assistant Salary & Outlook

Court assistants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the size of the court they work in, and the city or county where they live.

  • Median Annual Salary: $41,500 ($19.95/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $74,500 ($35.82/hour)

The employment of court assistants is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Court systems will need to hire more court assistants to handle the increasing caseloads resulting from the growth in the older population. As the baby-boom generation ages and people live longer, there will be more cases involving elder abuse, guardianship, and estate planning.

Related: Court Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Court Assistant Job Requirements

A court assistant candidate needs to satisfy several requirements for the position, including:

Education: Court assistants are typically required to have a high school diploma or GED. However, many employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. Courses in paralegal studies include legal terminology, legal research, legal writing, ethics, courtroom procedures and civil and criminal law.

Training & Experience: Many court assistant positions require candidates to have at least six months of experience in a clerical or office setting. Some employers may prefer candidates who have experience in the legal field, such as working as a legal assistant or paralegal.

Certifications & Licenses: Court assistants are not usually required to earn a certifying certification. However, some states do have specific certifications that a court assistant could pursue to help increase their earning potential and increase the likelihood that they will be successful in this career.

Court Assistant Skills

Court assistants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Attention to detail: Because court assistants often handle sensitive information, it’s important for them to have good attention to detail. This can help them ensure they send the correct documents to the right people and keep confidential information private. It’s also important for them to have good attention to detail when taking notes or recording information.

Organization: Court assistants should have excellent organizational skills to ensure they complete all of their tasks in a timely manner. This includes keeping files organized, maintaining calendars and managing multiple tasks at once. Being able to prioritize tasks and manage your time well can help you be more efficient in your role.

Communication: Court assistants communicate with many people on a daily basis, including lawyers, judges, clients and other court staff. Effective communication skills can help you convey messages clearly and understand messages from others. You can use your communication skills to answer phone calls, take messages and correspond with others via email.

Teamwork: As a court assistant, you may work with a team of other assistants, lawyers and judges. Being able to work well with others is an important skill for a court assistant. You may also be required to work with the public, so being able to be friendly and helpful is an important skill to have.

Computer skills: Many court assistants use computers to type, file and organize paperwork. Knowing how to use a computer and common software programs can help you in this career. You can also learn how to use new technology as it becomes available.

Court Assistant Work Environment

Court assistants work in a variety of settings, including law firms, government agencies, and courthouses. They typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines or attend evening or weekend court proceedings. Court assistants are often required to travel to different locations for work, such as to attend court hearings in other counties or to transport documents to and from the courthouse. Court assistants may work in a fast-paced and high-pressure environment, as they must be able to keep up with the demands of the legal system.

Court Assistant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how court assistants work. Court assistants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Legal Tech

The legal industry is changing rapidly as more and more businesses turn to legal tech solutions to help them manage their legal needs. This trend is causing a major shift in the job market, as court assistants will need to learn new skills to stay competitive.

Court assistants can capitalize on this trend by becoming familiar with legal tech solutions and how they work. They can also focus on developing other skills, such as project management and customer service, which are in high demand among legal tech companies.

More Use of Technology in the Courtroom

As technology continues to evolve, courts are beginning to use it more often in the courtroom. This includes using tablets and computers to take notes, file documents, and communicate with attorneys and judges.

Court assistants can utilize this trend by becoming proficient in using technology in the courtroom. This includes learning how to use tablets and computers to file documents and communicate with attorneys and judges. In addition, court assistants should be prepared to deal with any technical issues that may arise during proceedings.

Greater Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

The legal profession is increasingly focused on diversity and inclusion. This means that court assistants will need to be aware of the importance of these values and how they can be implemented into their work.

Court assistants can play an important role in promoting diversity and inclusion by ensuring that all employees feel welcome and comfortable in the workplace. They can also help to create a culture where everyone feels valued and respected.

How to Become a Court Assistant

A court assistant career can be a great way to get started in the legal field. As a court assistant, you’ll learn about the judicial system and how it works, which will give you a foundation for future growth in your legal career. You’ll also gain experience working with people from all walks of life, which is important for any job in the legal field.

As you progress in your career, you may want to consider becoming a legal secretary or paralegal. Both of these jobs offer opportunities for advancement and specialization within the legal field.

Advancement Prospects

Court assistants typically start out in entry-level positions, such as clerk or secretary. With experience, they may advance to positions such as paralegal, legal assistant, or law clerk. Some court assistants may eventually become lawyers.

Court Assistant Job Description Example

The [CompanyX] Court is seeking a highly organized and detail-oriented professional to fill the role of Court Assistant. The Court Assistant will provide administrative support to the Judge and Court staff, as well as perform clerical duties such as maintaining court records, scheduling, and preparing documents. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and customer service skills, as well as the ability to maintain confidentiality. This is a fast-paced environment, so the ability to multitask and stay calm under pressure is essential.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer phones, take messages, and provide general information to the public
  • Greet visitors, determine the nature of their business, and direct them to the appropriate staff member or office
  • Open and distribute mail
  • Prepare correspondence, reports, forms, and other documents
  • Perform data entry and maintain computerized files and records
  • Schedule appointments and maintain calendars
  • Arrange for meeting rooms, equipment, and supplies
  • Coordinate travel arrangements
  • Process invoices and purchase orders
  • Assist with special projects as needed
  • Provide courtroom assistance as needed, including setting up the courtroom, preparing exhibits, and sworn in witnesses
  • Maintain confidentiality of all court proceedings and documents

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Associate’s degree in paralegal studies, legal assistant studies, or related field preferred
  • 1-3 years of experience working in a law office or court setting
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies, legal assistant studies, or related field
  • 3-5 years of experience working in a law office or court setting
  • Experience with e-filing and document management systems
  • Working knowledge of state and federal court rules and procedures
  • Certification as a paralegal or legal assistant


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