Schools for Aspiring Court Clerks: How to Choose

Certificate, associate degree and bachelor's degree programs in legal assistance, office administration and criminal justice can give students the skills and professional knowledge needed to become a court clerk.

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There are no formal postsecondary education programs for court clerks, and some positions are open to applicants with no college training; however, office skills and some legal knowledge may be required. Students can gain an advantage when seeking employment by completing programs in legal assistance, criminal justice or office administration.

10 Schools with Court Clerk-Related Programs

Programs for aspiring court clerks are available at these colleges and universities.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition* (2015-2016)
Arapahoe Community College Littleton, CO 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,334 (In-state); $13,052 (Out-of-state)
California State University, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's $6,355 (In-state); $17,515 (Out-of-state)
Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny, IA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,913 (In-state); $7,825 (Out-of-state)
El Camino Community College Torrance, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,142 (In-state); $5,678 (Out-of-state)
Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificate $11,363 (In-state); $16,044 (Out-of-state)
Illinois State University Normal, IL 4-year, Public Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's $13,666 (In-state); $21,482 (Out-of-state)
Los Angeles City College Los Angeles, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,220 (In-state); $6,810 (Out-of-state)
Miami-Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,834 (In-state); $9,661 (Out-of-state)
Phoenix College Phoenix, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,046 (In-state); $7,830 (Out-of-state)
Texas State University San Marcos, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate $9,348 (In-state); $20,268 (Out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), School websites

School Selection Criteria

If you are interested in pursuing a career as a court clerk, you may want to consider the following points when choosing a school.

  • Students should seek programs that provide skills for office administration and clerking, such as typing, filing and the use of word processing software, as well as programs that offer basic classes in law, like court procedures and processes.
  • Choose the type of program and curriculum that matches the court clerk job you want to fill, including degree required.
  • Internship opportunities through academic programs can also be useful to students, both in gaining professional experience and developing connections with potential employers.
  • Distance education opportunities may offer scheduling flexibility to students who are currently employed and those who are too far from prospective schools and colleges.

Certificate in Legal Assistance

Certificate programs in legal studies could offer aspiring court clerks the legal knowledge and the office organizational skills necessary to gain employment. Some certificate programs may only be available to students already holding an associate or bachelor's degree in a different field. Internships and clinical practicum experiences may be required.

Associate Degree in Legal Assistance

An associate degree program in legal assistance provides the same training as a certificate program but with additional general education courses. This can help provide a more rounded education, and the degree may allow graduates to transfer into a 4-year program if desired.

Associate Degree in Office Administration

An office administration associate degree program prepares students to work in an office environment by teaching business communication, filing, transcription and word processing skills. Office administration students may have the opportunity to enroll in a legal studies concentration. Standard coursework typically includes keyboarding, communication, office systems and accounting.

Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice

A bachelor's degree program in criminal justice provides a more in-depth education in law and the correctional system. Internships are commonly required for completion. This level of study may qualify graduates for more complex roles and provide the opportunity for advancement with experience.

Although there are no specific programs to train court clerks, those interested in a career in this field can choose from criminal justice, legal assistance and office administration studies. Prospective students can consider the practical courses offered, internship opportunities available, and their schedule and distance from the school when finding a program.

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