Court legal adviser

Court legal advisers are trained lawyers who advise magistrates and district judges about the law.

Annual Salary

£20,500 to £43,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

Future employment

There will be 5% more Court legal adviser jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You'll be employed by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to work in magistrates' courts.

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • managing court schedules to make the best use of time and resources
  • preparing for court sessions and making sure evidence is ready
  • advising magistrates on the law and procedures
  • making sure defendants understand how the court works
  • reading charges to the court
  • identifying and researching legal issues during hearings
  • helping with the decision-making process using a formal method
  • training administrative staff and magistrates

To work as a legal adviser, you must be a fully qualified solicitor or barrister.

Previous experience as a magistrate could help you get a job.

You'll need a background check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

£20,500 to £43,000

Starter salary: £20,500 to £29,000

Experienced salary: £30,000 to £43,000

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

You'll work standard office hours, Monday to Friday.

You'll work at a magistrates' court and spend your time in court rooms and offices. You may need to work from several courts in a particular area.

The legal adviser career structure has 5 levels, known as tiers. On any tier, you could become a mentor. To move up, you'll need to prove your ability in your current role.

With 5 years' experience, you could become a deputy district judge or district judge (magistrates' courts). With more experience, you could become a justices' clerk (running several courts).

You could also apply for legal and non-legal secondments within the wider departments of HMCTS, the Ministry of Justice and other government agencies.

Another option is to move into private practice as a solicitor or barrister, or join the Crown Prosecution Service as a crown prosecutor or crown advocate.

The Bar Council and The Law Society have more information on careers in law.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to explain complex laws and procedures
  • excellent presentation, IT and organisational skills
  • problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt quickly to change
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