Deputy Clerk Job Description
A Deputy Clerk plays an administrative role in courts at various levels. They are tasked with generating, filing and organizing legal documents for court proceedings and creating case dockets. Deputy Clerks might also manage jury information, collect court fines and fees, explain court procedures and coordinate court proceedings with lawyers, judges and other court personnel. In addition, they might oversee warrants, subpoenas and court summonses. Deputy Clerks work for county, state or federal courts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job growth rate for all types of court clerks, including Deputy Clerks, is projected to be 4 percent through 2024.
Deputy Clerk Duties and Responsibilities
Deputy Clerks must complete various administrative tasks in order to ensure smooth and efficient court operations. We looked at several job postings for Deputy Clerks and discovered that many employers list the following duties and responsibilities for this occupation.
Prepare Legal Documents and Forms
A main responsibility of a Deputy Clerk is to create and organize documents needed for court proceedings. These documents might relate to correspondence, motions, depositions and proceeding outcomes. Deputy Clerks also prepare documentation for sentencing, releases and probation orders. They also complete warrant and petition forms.
Create and Maintain Court Dockets
Deputy Clerks are responsible for arranging the schedule of cases to appear in court. They distribute this schedule to lawyers, judges and other court members. This schedule is maintained daily and Deputy Clerks must be able to make necessary changes and distribute changes as needed.
Process Court Payments
A Deputy Clerk will handle the payment of court fines and fees and process receipts of these payments. They must balance and reconcile cash receipts. Deputy Clerks will generally enter payment information into an automated system.
Assist During Courtroom Proceedings
In many cases, a Deputy Clerk is present in the courtroom during court proceedings. Duties they might perform include recording minutes, marking exhibits, calling witnesses and swearing in jurors.
Deputy Clerk Skills
Strong listening and oral and written communication skills are essential for Deputy Clerks. They should also be detail-oriented, organized individuals who are adept at multitasking and thrive in a fast-paced environment. The ability to work in a team is crucial, as Deputy Clerks interact daily with judges, lawyers, court officers, jurors and the public. For the latter, strong customer service skills should be displayed. With the use of automated systems and processing of court payments, a Deputy Clerk should also possess strong computer and math skills. In addition to these abilities, potential employers of Deputy Clerks prefer candidates who possess the following skills:
- Preparing legal documents – from legal motions to court proceeding outcomes, the court system requires various documentation and Deputy Clerks are essentially responsible in producing these documents
- Creating court schedules – a daily schedule of court cases is essential to courtroom operations and Deputy Clerks must display the ability to create and organize this schedule
- Maintaining case files – in every court proceeding, files and other documents must be readily available to judges, lawyers and jurors and it is up to the Deputy Clerk to ensure that all documents are maintained in the courtroom
- Understanding of court policies and procedures – Deputy Clerks must explain and ensure adherence to all court policies and procedures for jurors, witnesses and court spectators and need to be knowledge about this information
Deputy Clerk Salary
The BLS states that the median annual salary for court clerks is $35,850. The upper 10 percent earn $55,290, while the lowest 10 percent sees a median annual wage of $23,420. State government court clerks make slightly more than local government clerks, with a mean annual salary of $43,020 versus $36,800. The highest annual mean salary for these clerks is seen in New York ($54,630), with New Jersey ($49,200), Alaska ($47,940), Connecticut ($47,720) and Rhode Island ($46,480) rounding out the top five states for top court clerk salaries.
Deputy Clerk Education Requirements
In most cases, those seeking a position as a Deputy Clerk need only a high school diploma or GED. Some employers might require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in legal studies or a related area or possession of a paralegal certificate. Completion of some college coursework can usually satisfy any clerical experience that employers might look for in job candidates.
Deputy Clerk Tools of the Trade
A Deputy Clerk uses some automated tools to complete the tasks assigned to them. If you wish to be a Deputy Clerk, you should become knowledgeable in the use of:
Case management systems – Case management software is an important tool for Deputy Clerks that help them to manage important case information for use in court proceedings.
Court recording software – At times, a Deputy Clerk might be responsible for recording court proceedings so they should be familiar with the use of court recording software to create and manage transcripts.
Office computer systems – Deputy Clerks should be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and other common office systems, as they create documents and schedules and must email or generate hard copies of these documents for distribution.
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