Chief Court Clerk

Career Profile

Judge Talking to the Court Clerk
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Chief court clerks, also known as chief deputy clerks, chief deputies or chief clerks, are the highest level of clerks in the court system. In some jurisdictions, the chief court clerk is an executive level position. Chief court clerks are responsible for all administrative and operational elements of the Clerk’s Office.

Chief clerks generally advance from deputy clerk and court clerk positions.


Chief court clerks are responsible for administration and supervision of the day-to-day operations of the Clerk’s Office, including areas such as intake, courtroom deputies, jury, case management, electronic case filing systems, records management, statistical reporting, quality assurance, staffing, and procedural manuals.

Chief court clerks also help to develop court-wide policies and procedures and manage special projects and assignments such as studies of operational areas and implementation of new programs. They are often responsible for budget and fiscal management, technology, and supervising department staff.

Education and Experience

Chief court clerks generally possess a bachelor’s degree although some federal court positions require a master’s degree or Juris Doctor degree. A combination of experience and/or education in business or public administration, political science, criminal justice, law, court administration, management or related field is helpful. Chief court clerk positions generally require three to six years of related experience.


Chief court clerks must possess strong oral and written skills; management or supervisory experience; excellent project management skills; thorough knowledge of management practices and administrative processes; and the ability to exercise mature judgment.

As part of the courthouse team, chief court clerks must work harmoniously with others in a team-oriented environment. Since chief court clerks balance a number of priorities, strong organizational, prioritizing and problem-solving skills are critical as well as the ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects.


Chief court clerk salaries vary based on jurisdiction, experience, and the court they serve. Clerks in the federal court system can earn salaries in the six figures.