Court Support Services Workers Ensure a Smooth Judicial Process

Aside from judges and lawyers, it is professionals who work in Court Support Services that ensure judicial trials run smoothly. Serving as either Court Clerks or Court Monitors/Reporters, the tasks of these people contribute greatly to Canada’s legal system.

Your journey to an exciting career in Court clerk training starts with Centennial College’s two-semester program. The undertaking was designed with the recommendation and approval of the Ministry of the Attorney General. It provides students with theory, hands-on training and practical, career-oriented assignments that will result being career-ready. Through small and intimate classes as well as upgraded computer labs, students will become familiar with topics such as being a court clerk for both family and criminal court, ethics and professional conduct, current issues in Canadian law, word processing and more. There is also practical hands-on learning, which is provided by a simulated courtroom setting. This “courtroom”, which is located right on the Centennial College campus, allows students to practice things such as taking an oath and presenting before a judge. To supplement this practice, students will also take numerous trips to various courtrooms and tribunal hearings in order to see firsthand exactly what their role will be within the courtroom setting.

In order to apply for the Court Support Services program, students must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Academic requirements include compulsory English 12 or U, or skills assessment, or equivalent.  However, possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Also, once a student is successfully in the program, he or she will be required to attain a minimum C grade average and an overall minimum GPA of 2.0 for graduation.

Upon graduation from the Court clerk training program, students will find employment as Court Monitors/Reporters and Court Clerks. They may work with official examiners, court reporting services and law offices. Please be advised that the Ministry of the Attorney General and some other employers require all employees to be able to obtain a criminal and credit clearance to be considered for employment.

The tasks of these two roles within the Court Support Services field vary greatly. Court Clerks maintain and keep court records, therefore, a large part of their job includes performing clerical and secretarial duties such as typing, filing, attending court appointments and answering calls. Before the court process, Clerks contact witnesses, lawyers and litigants and instruct them on when to appear. During the court process, Court Clerks are responsible preparing dockets of cases to be called out as well as administering oaths to witnesses, jurors and grand jurors. They also authenticate copies of court records and handle financial record keeping, act as custodians of the court’s seal and records, collect fees and other payments or deposits made to the court, process petitions and warrants and handle court correspondences. Lastly, depending on where they work, they may read a jury’s verdict, officiate civil weddings, process passports and swearing in of new citizens. Municipal court training is excellent if you have interest and skills.

Meanwhile, a court reporter records verbatim a variety of assigned court proceedings, utilizes electronic monitoring equipment, operates and maintains the recording and transcribing machinery while monitoring it by use of a headset and plays back the recordings as required. He or she also maintains a running log of the proceedings, noting relevant data according to the numerical calibrator; indexes and files court reports, prepares accurate transcripts and maintains a file of appeal transcripts.

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