There’s nothing quite like a courtroom drama for tension and intrigue, and although you might be clear about the roles of the judges and the lawyers, what are all of the other people in court doing? There is a wide range of people who are employed in courts and getting a job in the court service can mean interesting work, meeting people from all walks of life and regular working hours. Here are some of the roles which might be available.
It’s the job of the court usher to organise the courtroom, make sure that the witnesses are there, and that the defendant and both sets of lawyers are in court and ready to start proceedings when needed. They also bring witnesses and defendants into court, administer oaths when giving evidence and send any messages between the judge and jury if required. Court ushers are paid between £15,000 and £22,000 per year and to apply you’ll need English and Maths to GCSE level, experience working with people, good IT skills and clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Court Administrative Assistant
Court administration assistants are the backroom staff who keep everything running smoothly. They work away from the courtroom in offices and deal with booking times and dates for hearings, handling public enquiries, taking notes, ensuring judges and lawyers have the right paperwork and administering fines ordered by the court. Starting salaries for this role are around £17,000, rising to around £21,000 for an experienced admin assistant.
Court Security Officers
Often employed by a private security officer rather than directly by the court service, the security officers are responsible for managing people being brought to court for trial, and for transporting them to and from prison or a police station at the beginning of the day. They may also be positioned at the court entrance checking members of the public coming in and out of court. This is another role which will require a full DBS check for employees. Court security officers are usually paid on an hourly rate, and need to be physically fit with a good basic education to GCSE level.
Court Enforcement Officers
Court enforcement officers have a role similar to bailiffs, and their job is to serve court papers, and enforce orders handed down by a Magistrates’ Court. This could involve seizing goods from members of the public to pay a debt. Court enforcement officers are paid between £18,000 and £40,000 per year, and will require a Bailiff General Certificate to do their job. To get this you’ll have to prove to a judge that you are a fit and proper person for the position, and show that you understand the basics of bailiff law.
Finding a Job in the Court Service
Jobs in England and Wales are advertised centrally on the Ministry of Justice website. In Scotland, where the legal system is different, roles may vary but are all advertised on the Scottish Courts recruitment website. Court jobs in Northern Ireland are advertised on the NIJobs government website.