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Judicial Clerk

Judicial clerks provide paralegal support in provincial, superior and federal courts in Alberta.

  • Avg. Salary $55,249.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.31
  • Minimum Education High school diploma
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Administrative Support Personnel, Clerk of the Court, Office Personnel

NOC & Interest Codes
The Judicial Clerk is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Court Clerks
NOC code: 1443
METHODICAL

Interest in compiling information to record main court proceedings, including pleas, names of witnesses, dates, times and rulings, to update and maintain court office paper and electronic indexes and files on actions taken by courts and responses to court decisions

SOCIAL

Interest in speaking to assist the public in court offices and to swear in witnesses; and in reading charges and taking pleas from defendants

directive

Interest in handling to manage care and custody of court exhibits; in preparing documents for and participating in jury selection; and in calling courts of law to order

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Judicial clerks perform many office functions as well as court duties. In general, their administrative duties include:

  • reviewing and filing pleadings, petitions and other documents relevant to court actions
  • contacting witnesses, lawyers and litigants (parties of a law suit) to obtain information for the court
  • searching files to answer inquiries and to obtain information for the court
  • answering inquiries from the general public regarding judicial procedures, court appearances, trial dates, adjournments, outstanding warrants, summonses, subpoenas, witness fees and payment of fines
  • entering court results in computer systems
  • assessing court fees according to an established schedule and keeping financial records.

Judicial clerks usually are assigned to a particular court such as Court of Queen's Bench or Provincial Court or to a particular courtroom. Some judicial clerks travel with the circuit court to a variety of locations throughout Alberta where court is held. Depending on the type of court, the number of cases scheduled may range from one to several hundred in one day.

Judicial clerks have a variety of responsibilities before, during and after court proceedings. Specific responsibilities vary depending on the type of court but, in general, judicial clerks are responsible for the following activities prior to court:

  • prepare and review files
  • ensure all the proper documents have been submitted
  • retrieve from storage all applicable exhibits (evidence)
  • prepare the courtroom with paper, pens, water, easels (if necessary) and electronic equipment
  • ensure recording equipment is working.

Judicial clerks are present at all court proceedings where they:

  • open court and call the court to order
  • read the charges and related information to the court and, if necessary, record the defendant's plea
  • amend indictments when necessary and endorse indictments with pertinent information
  • swear in jury members, interpreters, witnesses and accused
  • record final dispositions
  • conduct roll calls and poll jurors
  • swear in witnesses and interpreters
  • ensure the security of exhibits (for example, money, drugs, negotiable bonds, weapons)
  • accurately record proceedings by using recording equipment.

After court is adjourned for the day, judicial clerks:

  • prepare documents that record the outcome of proceedings
  • secure exhibits and the courtroom
  • prepare and issue orders of the court including probation orders, release documentation, sentencing information and summonses
  • enter proceeding results.

Depending on the size of the community, judicial clerks may perform all of the above duties or work in co-operation with other judicial clerks. In rural communities, judicial clerks may be responsible for providing support for the circuit court. While on circuit, they are responsible for all areas and required to exercise independent judgment, calling the base court for direction if required.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Judicial clerks work in court and office settings. They work with judges, lawyers, witnesses, jurors, litigants, social workers and the general public. Because their duties bring them into contact with those accused of crimes, they must follow personal safety and security procedures. When present in court, judicial clerks are constantly exposed to the negative aspects of society and must be able to maintain a professional distance.

Overtime is not unusual in this occupation. It is not always easy to predict when court will adjourn and judicial clerks perform after court responsibilities prior to leaving for the day. They often work under intense pressure to complete documentation and meet deadlines. Travel is required for those who have circuit court responsibilities.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Judicial clerks need the following characteristics:

  • good organizational and time management skills
  • excellent communication skills in person and in writing
  • good decision making skills and the ability to work independently
  • the ability to deal with stress.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to compiling information, dealing with people and researching legal records.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Requirements for employment as a judicial clerk include a high school diploma (or equivalent) and related experience in customer service or a legal setting. Graduation from a related post-secondary education program may be recognized as a substitute for the required work experience. A working knowledge of computers and good typing skills are essential.

In their first year of employment, judicial clerks receive in-house provincial paralegal and Court of Queen's Bench paralegal training to further develop their skills.

Prior to enrolling in a formal training program, prospective students should investigate the suitability of the program and current employment prospects for graduates.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

In Alberta, judicial clerks are employed by the provincial or federal government. Advancement is based on completion of departmental paralegal training, performance and experience. A minimum of six years of work and supervisory experience generally is required to reach the highest classification level for judicial clerks.

Judicial clerks are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1416: Court Clerks. In Alberta, 98% of people employed in this classification work in the Public Administration (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Public Administration industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Judicial clerks are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1416: Court clerks. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Court clerks occupational group earned on average from $25.11 to $30.79 an hour. The overall average wage was $29.31 an hour. For more information, see the Court clerks wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Information Processing
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Legal Studies
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support

Updated Jan 01, 2012. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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