Court ushers get courtrooms ready for hearings, greet witnesses and make sure people behave properly in court. They make sure court hearings run smoothly.
“Silence. All rise please. The court is now in session.”
The person who says these words at the beginning of every court session is called a court usher. Court ushers are important because they make sure court hearings run smoothly.
Before the judge arrives, court ushers make sure everything is in order for the hearing. They check whether the courtroom is ready, whether the necessary equipment is in place and whether the lawyers have arrived. Court ushers also accompany judges between their offices and the courtroom.
During a hearing, court ushers show witnesses where to stand and make sure everyone in the courtroom behaves properly. They also do jobs for judges, such as making photocopies.
Court ushers must have these abilities:
- know and enforce the rules of correct behaviour in court
- express themselves clearly
- prepare and open courtrooms
- help judges and accompany them between their offices and the courtroom
- greet and show witnesses where to stand during the hearing
- make sure people in the courtroom behave properly
- help judges during the trial, for example, by making photocopies
Court ushers work part-time and must be on call. Their work schedule might change from week to week depending on how busy the court is.
There is no specific training program for court ushers.
The ministère de la Justice du Québec (Quebec’s department of justice) requires three years of secondary school, that is, Secondary Three or Grade 9. People who have less than three years of secondary school can still qualify if they have two years’ work experience for each year of schooling they don’t have.
The department hires court ushers from its bank of job applicants.
Emploi Québec’s Information sur le marché du travail website (job market information) has information about court clerks, which is the category that court ushers belong to. There is information about the work they do, job prospects and necessary training.
The website of the ministère de la Justice du Québec (Quebec’s department of justice) also has information about court ushers and how to apply for this job. (French only)