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What Does a Court Researcher Do?

A court researchers may research court cases, law or find specific documents for a judge.
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  • Written By: Kristie Lorette
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2014
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A court researcher is an employee for a legal company that finds the information needed for cases and legal matters by digging through the court records. For example, if an attorney has a case that involves a mortgage deed, the attorney may hire a court researcher to go to the courthouse where the records are housed, look through the file and find the information that the attorney needs to win his or her client’s case in court.

On the flip side, some court researchers work for the court. This could mean that the court researcher works for a particular judge. When the judge needs to research court cases, law or find specific documents for a case, they will turn to the court researcher in order to find the information the judge seeks.

A freelance court researcher may even work for individuals or a variety of clients. He may dig into the court records on a case by case basis depending on what the client has hired him to conduct research on and to find.

A court researcher may have to physically go to the courthouse where the records are kept. This is because some courthouses do not have public records online or the records the researcher is looking for is not a matter of public record. Other times, courthouses have spent a lot of time and money turning their paper records into electronic records. This means that court researchers may be able to access the information they need online.

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The work of a court researcher can be very varied. In one situation, the researcher may be digging up the criminal background of a potential employee for a company that is consider hiring the person. The next case the researcher works on may be to find all of the previous cases that pertain to the same situation that an attorney or judge is currently working on, so they can use the research to show how the outcome of each of those cases should affect the outcome of this case.

Being a court researcher is a job that requires good research skills and patience. It also requires a tolerance for working alone because the researcher is often sitting in the file room of the courthouse pulling, reading through and copying information from file. While there is some interaction between the researcher and the client that has employed them, a court research position is typically a position of solitude.

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Discuss this Article

matthewc23
Post 4
@Emilski - I really think that is a hard question to ask, as job postings for court researchers seem to spring up everywhere when there needs to be additional research done for the courts.

I personally have reviewed a lot of job postings and have found that there are many that are available in rural areas, simply because these jobs, with the necessary expertise, are usually fairly hard to fulfill and that with less people in an area, they have a harder time filling the position than in a city.

What I am interested in is if there are people that do this job professionally or if this is merely a job that is a low level clerical type of position and if it is a job that can give raises or have the opportunity for growth in the courts with the job?

Emilski
Post 3

@jmc88 - That is quite interesting and I would really like to see what is out there as far as what the variety of jobs are.

I live in a rural area, with a low population, thus we only have county courthouses, and they tend not to have a lot of records that need to be looked up, so I am wondering if this would be something that would even be available in my area, or if it is something that would be more prevalent in a big city, that has a higher population?

It would make sense that a city would need to employ more people, but I really have to wonder if a small, rural area, that lacks the resources of a city, would be looking for more people to help the court?

jmc88
Post 2

@titans62 - I have researched jobs concerning court researchers and I have found that there are independent companies out there that will pay people, by the hour, to do their jobs in order to satisfy the courts.

When I looked up these jobs I was surprised to find that this was completely online and that the company worked in conjunction with the courthouse.

The courthouse had job requirements for the court researcher and this is what the job requirement was, so it varied depending exactly where someone was contracted to.

As far as pay goes it seemed like it paid on either output or hourly, depending exactly where someone was working. At one place I looked at it paid 11.50 and hour and they required the court researcher to work 24 hours a week.

titans62
Post 1

I really have to wonder exactly how someone becomes a court researcher, as it seems like it requires someone that has a lot of expertise, as well as someone who may have legal qualifications.

However, the article does not necessarily mention exactly what type of background a person has to have in order to be a court researcher, as it only mentions skills that a person has to have in order to do their job.

I am a history major and looking to utilize my field of study and I am wondering if this is a job someone without legal expertise can do as well as if a person needs to be appointed or employed by the court house.

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