Career as a Court Usher

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Simon Reed works in Leeds Combined Court Centre as a court usher. It is his job to make sure that everything in the courtroom happens as it should and that everyone turns up on time.

What are your responsibilities?

My main role is to ensure that the courtroom runs efficiently. This includes meeting new jurors, being the first point of contact for people in the courtroom – including barristers, solicitors, and members of the public, distributing papers, ensuring that everyone is ready on time, and keeping the court clerk informed of any problems that occur.

I also swear in witnesses and jurors, keep records of the dates and times witnesses give their evidence, attend to the needs of judges and jurors, keep daily records of the court results and carry out general administrative tasks.

Do you use any special equipment?

I sometimes operate the video link equipment. This is used so that vulnerable and intimidated witnesses at court can give their evidence without being in the actual courtroom.

What training did you receive?

I was allocated to another usher who acted as a 'buddy' to me and, over two or three weeks, showed me most of what I needed to know to run a courtroom on my own.

What are your working hours?

I work full time, so I'm generally at work from 8-8.30am until 4-4.30pm from Monday to Friday, and I'm in court for most of that time from 10am until 4-4.30pm Some of my colleagues work fewer hours.

What is your working environment like and who do you work with?

I spend my time in large air-conditioned courtrooms, a number of offices and public areas.

I work with judges, barristers, other court ushers, court clerks, senior officers of the court, the general public, and members of the probation service, the witness service and the Citizens Advice service. I liaise between all of these people.

What do you wear at work?

Like all in-court staff, I must wear formal clothing. This includes a shirt and tie, usually with a jacket, and I always wear a gown when in court.

What personal qualities do you need?

The main qualities that I need are patience, diplomacy and good communication skills. Some of the people in court can be upset, angry or rude, especially if a case is not going their way, so these skills are important.

Court Usher related jobs

  • Advocate's clerk (Scotland)
  • Barristers' clerk (England and Wales)
  • Court administrative officer
  • Legal adviser/court clerk
  • Receptionist

Court Usher salary

  • Court ushers earn between £11,539 and £13,575 nationally, and £12,785 and £16,135 in London.
  • At senior court usher level you will earn between £16,026 and £19,544 nationally, or between £17,473 and £22,412 in London.

Career as a Court Usher

  • There are no formal entry requirements for this work. Employers look for the skills and competences needed to do the job.
  • Most training is on the job. New ushers begin by shadowing an experienced usher and gradually take on some of the duties.
  • Training normally takes about a year.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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