How do I Become a Clerk Magistrate?

C. Daw

A clerk magistrate is a judge who hears court cases at the county level. They are often times the first level of the US court system. The job description of a clerk magistrate varies from state to state and they can handle an array of cases from criminal to civil to motor vehicle. The state’s magistrate court system rules will dictate which types of cases the clerk magistrate will be able to preside over. To become a clerk magistrate, one must either be elected by their constituents or be appointed by a state or county official, depending on the state’s rules.

Clerk magistrates are responsible for handling court filings and setting hearing dates.
Clerk magistrates are responsible for handling court filings and setting hearing dates.

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often required, or at least strongly suggested, if a person wants to become a clerk magistrate. They will at least need to demonstrate that they have an active knowledge of the laws and how the magistrate court system works. Although it is not required, oftentimes clerk magistrates serve as lawyers for several years before vying for the clerk magistrate position. Most states also require their clerk magistrate to take yearly educational training courses while holding this position, but these requirements are different for each state.

Since this position is only gained through election or appointment, one will need to secure the appropriate connections if someone hopes to become a clerk magistrate. This can be done by getting to know the high profile people in the community, especially those in the court system, like the county judges, county commissioners and other county officials. The best way to accomplish this can be to join several community service organizations and clubs; these will also look good when running for this office. Becoming active in the community and getting to know as many citizens as possible will help one meet the right kind of contacts.

One’s character will also be an important factor to become a clerk magistrate. People in the community will want to be sure they have an honest and credible person running their magistrate courts. For this reason, one needs to be sure in all of their activities within the community to show their utmost integrity and honesty. Deciding to become a clerk magistrate can be a good job career and one who is appointed or elected as clerk magistrate generally continue in that position for many years depending on the length of the position's term.

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