The combination of watching court television shows and helping people find justice may spark your interest working in the legal field. If so, becoming a judicial assistant may be a good fit for you. In this position, you provide a variety of administrative and legal tasks for the judge. You must have at least a high school diploma to apply for this position. Experience working as a secretary or performing legal administrative work can set you apart from the competition.
Review and Organize Files
Judicial assistants are usually in charge of maintaining all files in the office including subpoenas, complaints, motions and summons. When judges and lawyers need certain files relating to cases, judicial assistants gather this information for them. In this role, judicial assistants organize files to help the judge prepare for a case. They may also help judges review documents, especially for high-profile cases.
Schedule and Make Appointments
Judicial assistants work closely with the judge, especially during high-profile cases. They also work on a variety of tasks on behalf of the judge including scheduling and making appointments. Judicial assistants arrange court hearings, meetings with lawyers and scheduling cases on behalf of the judge. If there is a cancellation or change with a case, judicial assistants must inform the judge and inform lawyers and all parties involved.
Assist Lawyers with Cases
Judicial assistants make sure that everything is running smoothly in the judge's chambers. They may collect information about cases on behalf of lawyers. For a major case, judicial assistants may work closely with lawyers' assistants to schedule appointments for hearings and answer any questions about upcoming hearings. Depending on the chambers, they may assist both lawyers and judges equally, especially when arranging conference calls and meetings with litigants.
Handle Financial Tasks
Whether it is preparing invoices or paying expenses, judicial assistants usually oversee these tasks. Depending on the chambers, they may also help the judge prepare the budget and monitor the amount of money spent for different reasons, such as travel or supplies needed for cases. For this position, judicial assistants should be familiar with using accounting software to prepare invoices and keep track of all finances.
Dachell McSween has contributed to the "New York Daily News" and "Black Enterprise Magazine." She also writes for various online publications. McSween received a B.A. in journalism from Pace University and an M.S. in publishing from New York University.