What is a Judicial Assistant?
A judicial assistant works to support a judge at the local, state, or federal level by performing clerical and administrative duties that are related to the court's operations. Jobs in this area require at least a high school diploma, and many judge assistants take legal assistant courses as part of associate's or bachelor's degree programs as well as certificate programs. Many positions also require that applicants have related prior work experience.
|Education Requirements||High school diploma|
|Other Requirements||Prior related work experience; positions may require an associate's or bachelor's degree|
|Median Salary (2019)||$41,491*|
|Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)||15% (for all paralegals and legal assistants)**|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Judicial Assistant Job Description
Judicial assistants are typically employees of the state in which their court operates. A court assistant's job description includes clerical tasks like:
- Preparing and filing court documents
- Checking information for accuracy
- Working as a receptionist
- Completing tasks in conjunction with other members of the office staff
Employees working in this capacity may hold the title of court judicial assistant. Related positions include court clerks, who create records of courtroom proceedings.
What Does a Judicial Assistant Do?
Judicial assistant jobs involve a range of administrative tasks to assist one or more judges or courts. These employees may be tasked with preparing documents and handling reports, briefs, and records. They may also complete clerical tasks including making copies, data entry, and filing documents. In addition, judicial assistants often schedule meetings and appointments for a judge or judges, and they may participate in scheduling court proceedings.
Most judicial assistants work full-time in an office or courtroom environment. Since their work involves current court cases, these positions involve some time pressure and the ability to meet deadlines. Judicial assistants may also be expected to handle confidential documents and information. Depending on the district in which they work, they may be required to travel.
Requirements to Become a Judicial Assistant
Judicial assistant positions require at least a high school diploma and prior experience in a similar position. Some courts may prefer applicants with an associate's degree or higher in secretarial studies, business, paralegal studies, or a similar discipline. Prior experience in an office or law firm is desirable.
Courts in some states may have judicial assistant trainee programs that prepare participants to advance to a judicial assistant position. States may also require that applicants pass a court assistant test. In New York, for example, the court assistant exam covers clerical checking, legal vocabulary, and general office procedures and skills.
Judicial Assistant Salary
As of 2019, the median salary for judicial assistants was $41,491, as per PayScale.com. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports salary information for paralegals and legal assistants, which can include judicial assistants. In May 2018, the average annual wage was $54,500 for this category. Salaries vary by location within the United States and by industry. The BLS reports that paralegals and legal assistants in the District of Columbia are the highest paid with an annual salary of $80,470 in May 2018. The highest paying industry was grantmaking and giving services.