Court Clerk  What They Do

Just the Facts

Court, Municipal, and License Clerks Career Video

Insider Info

dotCourt clerks, also called courtroom clerks, sit in front of the judge. They assist the judge in keeping the courtroom in proper order and running efficiently.

The clerk makes sure that proper files are available in the courtroom. They also record minutes, such as keeping track of the names of lawyers present. This task is different than that of the court stenographer, who writes down everything that is said in the courtroom.

dotCourt clerks announce the entrance of the judge into the courtroom. They can call court to order, swear in witnesses, mark and keep track of exhibits and do whatever tasks are needed to keep the courtroom functioning well.

Some court clerks are also responsible for receiving and disbursing for fines, fees and trust monies. Others help the public retrieve information in the court office and update court files.

Other types of clerks at the courthouse work in filing, the registry, accounting, finance and administration.

dotEvery court needs a courtroom clerk. This list of courts includes county, state and federal courts. These people are employees of the government.

Court clerks work regular hours. "It's 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a 40-hour workweek," says Jackie Meisenheimer. She is a court clerk in South Dakota.

dotCourt clerks need to be good typists and have some computer skills. It isn't a physically demanding job.

"A physically challenged person could do a lot of this work," says Meisenheimer. "There is nothing that would prohibit them, and the workplace could accommodate them."

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.

At a Glance

Help the judge keep things flowing

  • Every court needs a clerk
  • You need good computer skills
  • Most clerks are trained on the job