What are the Different Courthouse Jobs?

Alex Tree

There are several courthouse jobs, including but not limited to judge, clerk, and bailiff. Lawyers also spend a lot of time in a courthouse defending clients. These jobs are extremely varied and have little in common besides their work environment. They also have different educational background requirements, so someone choosing a courthouse career must first decide what kind of work he or she wants to do in a courthouse. What these jobs do have in common is regularly dealing with people who are guilty, innocent, or just looking for a problem to be solved, all of whom come to the courthouse.

A judge is one of many courthouse jobs.
A judge is one of many courthouse jobs.

The most well-known courthouse job is that of the courthouse judge. A person must often be highly educated before even attempting to become a judge, and then he or she is required to routinely take classes to keep up with changing laws. Normally, being a lawyer and having some political support is a prerequisite to becoming a judge. There are also tests to pass and people to impress before someone is formally made a courthouse judge. This job is highly sought after, and there are only so many courthouses with open positions.

A bailiff ensures that court goes smoothly and is ready to escort out or arrest any troublemakers.
A bailiff ensures that court goes smoothly and is ready to escort out or arrest any troublemakers.

Courthouse jobs include that of the courthouse clerk who performs vital work. Clerks do clerical work like file papers, make copies for lawyers, and administer oaths to witnesses. There is a lot of clerical work in a courthouse, so multiple clerks are usually needed. One clerk’s work might be significantly different than another’s, so much so that they are unable to fill in for one another. The education requirement of a courthouse clerk varies, but familiarity with legal documents is necessary, so law school graduates are commonly given the position.

Bailiff is among the lesser known courthouse jobs because a bailiff is often silent and in the background of courthouse proceedings. A bailiff ensures that all goes well in court; he or she stands guard and ready to escort out or arrest troublemakers. In some jurisdictions, a bailiff must only complete compulsory education, but having experience with law enforcement helps. Other jurisdictions hold these courthouse jobs to the same educational standards as police officers. While education requirements vary, it is normally standard for a bailiff to be physically fit in order to detain people if necessary.

Lastly, there are lawyers who deal with a vast array of different legal work. Whether a lawyer’s niche is traffic, divorce, or criminal, he or she is likely to spend some time in a court room. Law school is a must for lawyers, but getting accepted to a respected one is generally difficult on its own. Once in, lawyers study for years for the potential to enter a highly competitive field.

Someone choosing a courthouse career must decide what kind of work he or she wants to do in a courthouse.
Someone choosing a courthouse career must decide what kind of work he or she wants to do in a courthouse.

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Discussion Comments

Raynbow

@ocelot60- There are also a lot of support staff positions for lawyers and judges that spend a great deal of time working in courthouses. My best friend is a paralegal who spends as much time in court as the lawyers in her firm. Other support positions include interns, secretaries, and even security staff members who all help to keep courthouses running smoothly and safely.

Ocelot60

I as surprised to see that this article doesn't mention the position of court stenographer. This is a very important courthouse job because the stenographer keeps a running record of what goes on in court.

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