Though you may only need a high school diploma to become a judicial assistant, you can earn a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in an area such as paralegal studies. Salaries and duties can vary depending on your location and the level of the court in which you work.
Judicial assistants are state employees who perform administrative tasks for federal or state judges. The duties associated with this career can vary based on where the assistant works, but they may include making copies, transcribing court correspondence, drafting court documents and filing documents. Although some positions do require previous work experience, individuals can enter this occupation with only a high school diploma. They may opt to pursue a certificate or associate's degree related to paralegal studies.
|Required Education||High school diploma; optional completion of a certificate or associate's degree program related to paralegal studies, criminal justice or similar area|
|Other Requirements||Professional experience for some positions|
|Projected Job Growth||8% from 2014-2024 (legal assistants)*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$48,810 annually (legal assistants)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Judicial Assistant Job Description
Judicial assistants work for federal, state and county court judges. They perform administrative tasks to help judges manage their workload and court schedule. The position is a government job and despite working for a judge, these assistants are generally employees of the government responsible for funding the courthouse. This position can also be referred to as administrative assistant, court clerk or another similar title.
Most employers require a high school diploma or GED equivalent for this position. Prospective assistants may also need professional experience. Although not required, assistants can also gain training through a certificate or associate's degree program from a related area, such as customer service, paralegal studies or criminal justice.
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Judicial assistants are primarily responsible for running all aspects of the judge's office. Common job duties include filing and copying, answering questions about court proceedings, issuing court orders and transcribing court correspondence.
They may also be responsible for managing schedule trials, motions and court hearings, as well as supervising interns, volunteers or law clerks. Some judicial assistants draft basic court documents to be reviewed and approved by the judge, such as notices that a hearing is scheduled or that another document has been received.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for paralegals and legal assistants, which can include judicial assistants, was $52,390 in May 2015. Salary can also vary based on the assistant or clerk's location and the level of the court.
For example, in May 2015 the average salary in New York was $57,920 while the average salary in California $59,230. The BLS also reported that paralegals and legal assistants who worked for the state government earned an average of $47,820 in May 2015, and those that worked for the local government earned $51,820 on average.
Responsible for carrying out administrative duties in a judge's office, judicial assistants work for the government in local, state or federal courts. They should hold a high school diploma and have some professional experience, and there are postsecondary programs in this field. Employment opportunities for judicial assistants are projected to increase at about the same rate as the national average through the year 2024.