There is a sense of pride that comes with knowing we are part of a
family that is dedicated to public service. Plus, a huge perk is that your best friend is a judge; can it get better than that?
More than an assistant
On paper, they provide administrative, secretarial and clerical support to the judges. In reality, they are the force that keeps their bosses on time and organized; their daily interactions with attorneys, court staff, litigants and the public are instrumental in the Court’s ability to provide justice. They are the judicial assistants of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit.
In honor of Administrative Professionals’ Day on April 21, we are shining the spotlight on our judicial assistants for the month of April. Judicial assistants (JAs), support judges by maintaining their professional calendar, scheduling and coordinating hearings, motions and conferences, screening callers and drafting documents. They help their judges with trial scheduling and maintaining trial dockets.
Because judges are prohibited from engaging in communication with one party to a case outside of the presence of the other party or parties, JAs serve as the public face of the judge, communicating with litigants, attorneys and the public on behalf of their judge.
A JA’s daily tasks may be the same, but no two days are the same. When you’re in the business of doing the people’s work, things can get complicated. The job requires initiative, ingenuity, creativity, analysis and a healthy dose of patience.
There are 32 JAs in the Twelfth Circuit. They all also happen to be women. Their educational levels vary: we have several JAs that have undergraduate degrees and a few that have graduate degrees. All of them have a background in the legal field, having worked previously as a JA in another jurisdiction, a court clerk, in court administration, or in a law firm as a legal assistant or paralegal.