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Master’s Degree Programs in Court Administration Overview

Majors Overview November 2, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in court administration and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Court Administration

Those who seek careers in court administration would benefit from enrolling in a Master of Science in Legal Administration (M.S.L.A.). Alternatively, they can earn a combination of a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) law degree. Law schools usually offer these programs that are also available in online formats.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree and submit graduate test scores. Students normally complete a degree program in legal administration in two years, and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree program in three years.

Training in court administration is available through some court systems by their criminal justice department.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an undergraduate degree, in any major. Applicants may also have to submit scores of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) or LSAT (Law School Admission Test). They must also submit letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.


Internships or another related work experience is in the coursework of several legal administration graduate programs. Courses examine management and law principles closely. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Workplace leadership and management
•Court Financial Management
•Information technology law
•Public employment law
•Court planning Trends
•Current issues in criminal justice

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek employment in federal, state and local court systems, managing day-to-day operations of the court. They may be required to oversee non-judicial support staff, manage case flow and ensure that information technology is working properly. Program graduates may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Management Analyst
•Clerk of the Court
•Law office administrator
•Public sector office administrator

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, an above-average job growth of ten percent has been predicted for mediators, arbitrators and conciliators (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $61,280 (BLS). In 2012, 8,400 individuals were employed in this field (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

In some states, certification programs may be offered for court administrators. For instance, administrators in New Jersey are required to fulfill educational requirements, apart from passing an oral and written exam and developing a court improvement plan before they gain certification. Continuing education of 15 hours every year must be completed to maintain certification.

Certification programs may be available for court administrators through some national associations, including the Institute for Court Management, a division of the National Center for State Courts. Students can avail the organization’s continuing education programs and be awarded a certification after they complete the courses.

Professional organizations, such as the American Arbitration Association, are offering an increasing number of credentialing processes for arbitrators (BLS). Court clerks can avail certification procedures that are being offered by many professional organizations and states.

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