Service coordinators, who are also known as process server coordinators, are responsible for coordinating the delivering of court documents to individuals. They are typically hired by attorneys and legal support teams to manage this vital component of the legal process. Becoming a service coordinator in the legal field can begin with the specialized education available through a Bachelor’s degree program in Applied Psychology with concentration in Forensic Psychology.
Service of process is the method by which legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, subpoenas, writs and other court documents are delivered to the individual to whom the document is directed. Because service of process must be performed by a person who is not a party to the case, legal teams hire service coordinators, or process server coordinators, to handle this important part of the process.
Service coordinators are typically responsible for delivering (or serving), or coordinating the serving of, legal documents in accordance with applicable laws in the area of service. This may mean physically handing the documents to the defendant personally, or delivering them to a person in the same household or business. Because some defendants may not cooperate, the service coordinator must possess knowledge of the legal means available to deliver notifications properly.
Once the documents are delivered, the service coordinator must provide proof that the documents were served. An Affidavit of Service, or Proof of Service, is the most common method used. The affidavit is notarized and delivered to the party requesting the service.
Additional duties taken on by service coordinators may include filing papers with the courts, retrieving documents, and conducting some forms of investigations, such as skip traces, locating missing persons or surveillance.
Service coordinators, or process server coordinators, may work from home offices or a central location. They frequently travel to perform their duties, which may occur at various times of the day, including evenings or weekends. Schedules are usually flexible, and many service coordinators set their own hours.
Because salary potential for service coordinators may vary depending on location, education and experience, prospective students are encouraged to conduct independent research to determine actual earning potential.
While there are no standard paths of entry to becoming a service coordinator, most employers hiring for this position require a minimum high school diploma and some law enforcement or legal work experience. Advanced education in sociology, psychology or forensics may be preferred by some employers.
Depending on the state, process servers may be required to be licensed, which involves being fingerprinted and bonded, taking a written exam and passing a background check. Some states require service coordinators and process server coordinators to be registered with the state. Because regulations vary, potential students are advised to conduct independent research regarding registration and licensing procedures in the state in which they reside.
Preparing for a service coordinator career may begin with earning a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology degree. Coursework typically includes introduction to psychology, multicultural issues, integrated theories of crime, and professional and ethical issues.
Employers can be confident that individuals who have earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Psychology are able to:
Some employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It may be possible to gain an entry-level position and use a tuition assistance program to earn your bachelor’s degree.
The work of a service coordinator, or process service coordinator, can be different and exciting every day. To be successful in this field, you’ll need the ability to handle stressful situations, think on your feet and approach problems with creative solutions. Attention to detail and determination will also serve you well in this position. With your personal attributes and skills, earning your BA in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Forensic Psychology can give you a competitive advantage, as well as specialized knowledge needed to break into the legal field as a service coordinator.