What does a law clerk do?
Law clerks provide assistance by performing various tasks such as legal analysis, preparing legal documents and/or files, and conducting professional research. They prepare draft opinions that act as the foundation of cases for attorneys and judges. They examine legal documents to assist with courses of action and prepare cases. They also prepare and file various legal documents such as affidavits, petitions, and legal complaints.
Law clerks assist judges by providing advice about the priority of cases and the status of cases that have been assigned and helping translate legal documents. They ensure courtrooms are ready for hearings by setting up equipment. Law clerks also act as a liaison between judges, lawyers, and clients.
What kind of training does a law clerk need?
Specific educational requirements for law clerks vary by employer, but law clerks generally need to complete at least a law clerk diploma program. Many individuals complete a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of law school experience. Click here to see law clerk diploma programs.
Many law clerks have graduated from law school especially those wanting to work for federal judges. To be admitted into law school, individuals must complete at least a bachelor’s degree and receive a passing score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Law school generally takes three years of full-time study and results in a Juris Doctor. Click here to see a list of law schools.
Law clerks also need sufficient law experience and many individuals complete judicial internships and clerkships. It is essential for law clerks to stay up-to-date on current laws and legal issues and most employers require law clerks to complete continuing education on a regular basis.
What are the prospects for a career as a law clerk?
The projected employment growth for all paralegals and legal assistants, including law clerks is expected to increase by 28% by the year 2018 (1). This growth rate is much faster than average for all professions.
Even with the high rate of job growth, law clerks will experience keen competition for jobs due to the popularity of the profession. Law clerks with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do law clerks make?
As of March 2011, law clerks with less than one-year experience earn average annual salaries between $31,741 and $46,602. Those with one to four years experience an average of $30,381 to $48,113 per year (2). The expected average annual salary for law clerks will differ depending on employer, education, experience, and benefits.
A law clerk is an essential member of the legal team with a sound knowledge of state and federal laws and legal procedures. A career as a law clerk is an ideal for option for individuals who enjoy working with judges and attorneys to provide legal assistance. The position features excellent employment growth with a competitive salary.