What Does a Deputy Court Clerk Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

A Day in the Life of a Deputy Court Clerk

Evan Polenghi/The Balance 

Deputy court clerks work under the supervision of court clerks to perform various clerical activities that relate to the preparation and processing of cases in city, county, state, and federal court systems. The job frequently involves client-facing activities as well, such as explaining court procedures to members of the general public and working directly with judicial officers, attorneys, and staff as needed.

Supervision of others isn't usually a function of this role, but with experience and education, a deputy court clerk, also known as an assistant court clerk, can advance to the position of deputy court clerk II, court clerk, or chief court clerk.

Deputy Court Clerk Duties & Responsibilities

The duties of a deputy court clerk generally require the ability to do the following work:

  • Assist and respond to phone and face-to-face inquiries from attorneys, judicial and law enforcement officers, and the general public.
  • Prepare, review, and process legal documents, correspondence, motions, and orders.
  • Administer oaths to witnesses.
  • Complete court-related forms such as petitions and warrants.
  • Document name changes, licenses, adoption records, and more.
  • Collect fines, fees, and bond payments.
  • Reconcile daily receipts.
  • Prepare the dockets or lists of scheduled cases.
  • File documents physically or electronically.

Beyond supporting the administrative functions of the court clerk or chief court clerk to ensure the operation of the court in accordance with state and local laws and regulations, the deputy court clerk is often expected to have advanced expertise in general courthouse procedures, pleadings (written statements made by the two parties to a legal case) and filing requirements, setting hearings, and researching archived cases. They're also expected to maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times and may be required to attend continuing education classes.

Deputy Court Clerk Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide salary information specifically for deputy court clerks, although the salary for court, municipal, and license clerks is:

  • Median Annual Salary: $38,450 ($18.48/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $60,330 ($29.01/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $25,150 ($12.09/hour)

The deputy court clerk median salary is somewhat less than that of a court clerk, although salaries vary depending on the jurisdiction. For example, the job description for a deputy court clerk in Manor, Texas, states that the salary range for that position was $31,368 to $42,429 as of October 2016.

Education, Training, & Certification

Most deputy court clerks are required to have at least one year of experience in a clerical or administrative job, ideally in a legal setting. Education, training, and licensing requirements vary by state or jurisdiction:

  • Education: This occupation requires a high school diploma or GED, although a certificate from a community college, such as the Ivy Tech undergraduate certificate in paralegal studies, or an associate degree in a closely related field will position a candidate for advancement opportunities.
  • Training: On-the-job training of one to 12 months working under an experienced employee is normal for deputy court clerks.
  • Licensing: Some states require court clerks to be licensed. Find out about the licensing requirements in your state by using the License Finder at CareerOneStop.

Deputy Court Clerk Skills & Competencies

To become a deputy court clerk job and perform your job successfully, you'll need an assortment of skills and knowledge:

  • Interpersonal skills: This position works with people from all walks of life on a daily basis. Treating everyone with respect and courtesy is key to doing the job effectively.
  • Communication skills: The ability to listen actively and express yourself clearly, concisely, and diplomatically, whether orally or in writing, is crucial as you'll use these skills continuously. Good command of grammar is essential to accurately proofread work to spot and correct errors.
  • Computer and software skills: You must be adept at using computers as well as spreadsheet, database, word processing, calendar, and email applications in carrying out assignments.
  • Time management and organizational skills: You must effectively organize your time, prioritize tasks, and locate files and answers to questions posed by associates and the public.
  • Math skills: A working knowledge of basic arithmetic operations is essential to balance daily cash receipts.

It's also helpful to be knowledgable in areas such as legal terminology, records maintenance, file retention and destruction policies, local community outreach services, and physical security and evacuation procedures.

Job Outlook

According to O*NET OnLine, the employment of court clerks is expected to grow between 5% and 9% from 2016 through 2026, which is about the same as the average for all classes of jobs.

Work Environment

Deputy court clerks spend most of their time in courtrooms and offices. They stand or sit for extended periods while interacting with lawyers, court officials, and the public and when performing tasks such as data entry, copying and filing documents and records, collecting and recording fees, and completing other administrative tasks.

Work Schedule

Deputy court clerks work a full 40-hour week during normal business hours, although work schedules may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the needs of the court.

How to Get the Job

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