There are four steps required to become a court administrator: post-secondary training, related work experience, applying for a job, and completing the job interview process. A court administrator works in a court of law, organizing the docket, ensuring the proper paperwork is in order, and managing the flow of cases. An efficient court administrator provides the structure necessary to ensure that the judge is only presented cases that are ready to proceed.
People who enjoy organizing, are excellent communicators, and are able to balance conflicting priorities find this role rewarding and energizing. This is not a suitable role for someone who is shy, prefers to work independently, and finds conflict upsetting. Attention to detail and interpersonal skills are all essential for anyone who wants to become a court administrator.
The first requirement to become a court administrator is to complete a post-secondary education program. This type of program is available from a wide range of community and career colleges. Although training as a court administrator is excellent, many people with training as a law clerk or paralegal may find employment opportunities as a court administrator. This role requires training in legal procedures, which can be gained in any of these roles.
Related work experience is typically obtained through a job placement or cooperative learning course or term that is part of the college program. It is very difficult to get experience in a court without the proper education. However, experience as an office manager or administrator may be helpful in this role. Working in an administrative office for lawyers or other legal professionals may provide helpful insights into court procedures, once you become a court administrator.
When applying for a job as a court administrator, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double-checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. Read the details of the job posting with care and try to tailor your cover letter to the specific needs. It is standard practice to complete a background and criminal records check as part of the application process.
During the job interview process, take the time to prepare for the interview. Think of a list of standard interview questions and prepare your answers in advance. Think about your answers, stay calm, and be sure to answer the question that was asked.
The career advancement opportunities for a court administrator are limited by the size of the local court system. A large city will have multiple layers of administrators, and positions for senior administrators and supervisors. Smaller locations typically do not have that many layers, and so the opportunities for advancement are reduced.