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What is it Like to Work in a Courthouse?

Courthouses are places where legal matters are heard, disputed, and ultimately resolved. They deal with all sorts of crimes and misdemeanours, from speeding fines all the way up to murder, as well as civil matters such as fraud and child custody.

Here are some common things you can expect to find at courthouses:

  1. They’re highly organised – ensuring key details are correct and things happen on time is very important.
  2. You’ll work with people – most roles will see you working face-to-face with other people each day.
  3. Communication is key – there is lots of information that needs to be relayed between many people, so clear communication is vital to providing the best outcomes.

 

Key Outcome

Uphold the law and principles of justice

 

The main focus of courthouses is to punish offenders and compensate victims. Courthouses deal with matters of all sizes and severities.

 

Key Tasks

 

  • Hear, advise, and decide on legal matters
  • Schedule hearings and sentencings
  • Prepare important case files
  • Keep accurate and detailed records
  • Assist clients with queries
  • Ensure workers and visitors are safe

 

Industry

You can find courthouses in the professional, scientific and technical services industry

 

Courthouses are generally found in the professional, scientific and technical services industry. Courts can vary in size from small local district courts, all the way up to federal courts that hear matters of national importance.

 

Work Environment

You can expect regular hours and on-site work

 

Regular work hours  |  Work on-site  |  Jobs more common in metro areas  |  Strong job growth

Most courthouses have regular opening hours, usually around 9 to 5. Most workers will find themselves at work during this time frame.

A lot of the work in courthouses needs to be done in-person, so opportunities to work from home are limited.

Larger courthouses are generally based in metropolitan and regional centres, but there are small courthouses in towns and cities all across the country.

 

The Career Clusters you’ll find in a courthouse

 

People from all Clusters are needed for a courthouse to run effectively, but the most common Clusters you’ll find are Informers and Coordinators. As in any role, you might find yourself performing tasks across multiple Clusters.

 

What do Makers do in a courthouse?

 

The Makers are the people responsible for keeping the courthouse clean and presentable, as well as performing general maintenance duties. They also need people to ensure that IT systems are always running smoothly. If the courthouse has a café or eatery attached, they will also need to employ people to make food and coffee for visitors and staff.

  • Cleaners
  • Maintenance Workers
  • IT Technicians
  • Cooks/Baristas

 

The role of a Linker in a courthouse

 

Linkers in courthouses are responsible for answering questions and complaints from the public, both in person and over the phone or internet. They can also direct people to other related legal services, or provide assistance to people who need special support. You might also find Journalists gathering information to report details of a case to the public.

  • Receptionists
  • Customer Service Officers
  • Social Workers
  • Journalists

 

Where you’ll find Coordinators in a courthouse

 

Coordinators handle a lot of the administrative tasks in a courthouse, including filing paperwork, managing timetables and hearings for each day, and scheduling future matters. They might also prepare case files on behalf of judges and lawyers in preparation for a hearing, or sit in on cases to accurately transcribe or record what has been said.

  • Law Clerks
  • Legal Assistants/Paralegals
  • Office Administrators
  • Court Recorders

 

How do Informers work in a courthouse?

 

The Informers you’ll find in a courthouse include the people there to provide legal counsel and advice to clients, represent their clients in court, hear legal arguments, and make rulings and judgements. They may also need people to interpret for clients who speak little English. Other Informers might be there to research past cases and help to preserve information.

  • Solicitors/Barristers
  • Judges/Magistrates
  • Interpreters
  • Legal Researchers

 

What types of Innovators work in a courthouse?

 

Innovators aren’t found too often in courthouses, but there may be some Innovators who visit courthouses when developing new laws and policies. Other Innovators might work on the initial design and layout of the building and facilities and might make site visits, but have little to do with the ongoing running of the courthouse.

  • Policy Developers
  • Engineers/Architects

 

Where you’ll find Guardians in a courthouse

 

Guardians in courthouses include Police Officers, who may be there to provide evidence and facts for a case. Other Guardians are needed bring detained people into the courthouse and maintain order, as well as keep the building and people inside safe and secure. Other workers might provide physical and emotional support to clients, victims, and families going through a tough case.

  • Police Officers
  • Bailiffs
  • Security Officers
  • Support Workers

 

How do we expect working in a courthouse to change in the future?

 

COVID showed that while difficult, it was possible for courthouses to operate remotely. However, this did present some problems and most courthouses have since gone back to normal operations in person.

Advances in technology have made a lot of the data entry and processing roles easier over the years, and it is expected that as AI gets better and better, it may be able to assist with even more tasks, such as legal research and basic administrative tasks.

Different principles of justice have also gained traction in recent years (such as community justice and Indigenous justice) and are changing the way we think about the law and how courts operate. Mediation is also becoming a more popular method of resolving disputes rather than litigation.

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