What Do Court, Municipal, and License Clerks Do?
Clerks prepare documents and organize important matters in their places of work. Court reporters prepare schedules of court cases for judges to hear, notify all parties involved of the day and time of the proceedings and send out any necessary documents. Municipal clerks may issue permits and keep official records for cities and towns. License clerks issue licenses on behalf of government agencies.
Court, Municipal, and License Clerks Skills and Abilities
Clerks must have excellent organization and communication skills, since their work consists of coordinating official documents and interacting with dozens of people each day. They must be able to learn and remember filing and record-keeping systems, official procedures and legal terminology. If you want to be a clerk, you must learn about principles of business administration as well as legal procedures and government and agency procedures.
Court, Municipal, and License Clerks Duties
Each type of clerk has a specific set of duties. For court clerks, these include:
- Preparing schedules or dockets of cases
- Filing court documents
- Preparing and issuing orders
- Recording court orders
- Processing court fee payments
- Arranging payment plans
- Making sure that any documents submitted to the court meet standards
- Contact lawyers, witnesses or other parties to obtain or exchange information
- Explain legal forms or proceedings to others
- Serving as office manager
- Swearing in witnesses, jury members and others
- Announcing judges and calling the court to order
Specific duties of license clerks include:
- Accepting and evaluating license applications
- Verifying documents
- Keeping accurate records
- Explaining the licensing process to the public
- Collecting fees and issuing receipts
- Using special cameras to generate photographs for ID cards
- Conducting and scoring tests
- Working with the general public
- Communicating information in a clear and friendly manner
- Entering data into spreadsheets, databases and other software programs
- Balancing cash drawers and financial statements
The general duties of municipal clerks may overlap somewhat with those of license clerks, but also include:
- Preparing meeting agendas
- Notifying the public of upcoming meetings or other official activities
- Recording meeting minutes for municipal governments
- Conducting research and presenting the findings
- Preparing reports
- Helping with municipal elections
- Issuing licenses and permits
- Collecting fees
- Working on the municipal budget
- Archiving and maintaining all official documents and files for the municipality
- Preparing technical reports as well as legal and informational documents
Court, Municipal, and License Clerks Tools and Technology
Court clerks may use digital voice recorders, computers and printers every day. License clerks use postage meters, cameras and vision testing equipment. Municipal clerks may use voice recorders, dictation equipment and ballot or voting machines. All of these clerk positions will rely on word processing, spreadsheet and database software, as well as email and scheduling programs.
Education and Training for Court, Municipal, and License Clerks
The average clerk needs only a high school diploma to start, but it’s a good idea to attend a technical program in court proceedings, or at least to learn the basics of office technology and legal terminology. Either way, you can expect a moderate amount of on-the-job-training when you first start.
Court, Municipal, and License Clerks Salary
Salary for clerks ranges from $11.30 to $25.64 per hour, or $23,500 to $53,300 per year. The median wage is $17.05 per hour ($35,500 per year), with half of clerks making more and half making less.
Court, Municipal, and License Clerks Jobs by Geography
The state of California alone has nearly 13,000 court, municipal and license clerks, and is expecting a 12.6 percent positive change over a 10-year period. Kentucky, where only 3,330 clerks are employed, is expecting a healthy 1,000 or more new job openings in this field, which is a 34.4 percent increase. 26 of the 50 American states expect increases of over 10 percent in 10 years, so it is predicted that demand for this job will continue to increase.