Court legal adviser Court clerk, assistant to justices' clerk
Court legal advisers are trained lawyers who advise magistrates and district judges about the law.
1. Entry requirements
To work as a legal adviser, you must be a fully qualified solicitor or barrister.
Previous experience as a magistrate could help you get a job.
You'll need a background check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
2. Skills required
- the ability to explain complex laws and procedures
- excellent presentation, IT and organisational skills
- problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt quickly to change
3. What you'll do
You'll be employed by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to work in magistrates' courts.
Your day-to-day tasks could include:
- managing court schedules to make the best use of time and resources
- preparing for court sessions and making sure evidence is ready
- advising magistrates on the law and procedures
- making sure defendants understand how the court works
- reading charges to the court
- identifying and researching legal issues during hearings
- helping with the decision-making process using a formal method
- training administrative staff and magistrates
Starter: £20,500 to £29,000
Experienced: £30,000 to £43,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll work standard office hours, Monday to Friday.
You'll work at a magistrates' court and spend your time in court rooms and offices. You may need to work from several courts in a particular area.
6. Career path and progression
The legal adviser career structure has 5 levels, known as tiers. On any tier, you could become a mentor. To move up, you'll need to prove your ability in your current role.
With 5 years' experience, you could become a deputy district judge or district judge (magistrates' courts). With more experience, you could become a justices' clerk (running several courts).
You could also apply for legal and non-legal secondments within the wider departments of HMCTS, the Ministry of Justice and other government agencies.
Another option is to move into private practice as a solicitor or barrister, or join the Crown Prosecution Service as a crown prosecutor or crown advocate.
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Last updated: 14 September 2017