Inside the World of Legal Couriers
If you are self-employed, courier jobs can be a lucrative market to get into. You’ll find that there are a few areas of subspecialisation within the courier market sector. One of these is legal ...
If you are self-employed, courier jobs can be a lucrative market to get into. You’ll find that there are a few areas of subspecialisation within the courier market sector. One of these is legal courier work - also known as court messenger work.
What is a Legal Courier?
A legal courier, or court messenger, is a crucial part of the legal system. Legally sensitive or time sensitive (or both) packages can’t be sent through ordinary mail services. Solicitors, judges, police officers and anyone else working in the legal system need access to couriers who possess the specific mind-set, skills and experience to safely move vital packages to meet strict deadlines.
If you’re self-employed, courier jobs related to the legal system may have you moving evidence, indictment paperwork, sentencing paperwork, lab results, and any number of other things. As the judiciary system has a duty to ensure that trials are carried out as speedily as possible, deadlines are a huge part of this job.
Do I Have What It Takes?
You won’t ordinarily need any further qualifications other than that which would be required for ordinary courier work: a driver’s licence without any major offences on it is necessary. However, as with any sub-specialisation, the emphasis is slightly different. You’ll be moving packages on which the outcome of a court case might depend, and frequently adhering to a very tight deadline. For this reason, possibly the single most important trait for a court messenger is the ability to work under pressure, as the stakes are rarely so high in standard courier work.
You also need to be flexible and learn quickly, and having a good working knowledge of the areas you’ll be driving in is a big help. Court cases do not wait for traffic or roadwork delays, so you’ll need to know (or be able to rapidly find) appropriate shortcuts and alternate routes in order to make sure the packages arrive on time.
In this field, it’s also very useful to have excellent communication skills. The people you’ll be working with are often stressed and working under a great deal of pressure. Quickly developing a rapport with new people and being understanding of the difficulties involved on all sides of the job goes a long way, helping to ensure that people go a little further to help you out and seek your services.
While being self-employed courier jobs for the court can mean very intense periods of work alternating with stretches of free time. For this reason, it’s well-suited to those with a flexible schedule as well as those who are able to pick up other short courier jobs during their downtime.
Ultimately, it’s impossible to say whether legal courier work is for you until you’ve tried it. However, good indicators of compatibility are your ability to work under pressure, to find alternate routes, and to communicate well under stressful conditions.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day self employed courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.