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Law Clerk Career

Career Description

A Law Clerk assists lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. May meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.

Common Work Tasks

  • Search for and study legal documents to investigate facts and law of cases, to determine causes of action and to prepare cases
  • Prepare affidavits of documents and maintain document files and case correspondence
  • Research and analyze law sources to prepare drafts of briefs or arguments for review, approval, and use by attorney
  • Review and file pleadings, petitions and other documents relevant to court actions
  • Prepare real estate closing statements and assist in closing process
  • Deliver or direct delivery of subpoenas to witnesses and parties to action
  • Serve copies of pleas to opposing counsel
  • Arrange transportation and accommodation for witnesses and jurors, if required
  • Communicate and arbitrate disputes between parties
  • Appraise and inventory real and personal property for estate planning

Other Job Titles

Law Clerks are also known by other titles, including:

  • Paralegals
  • Legal Assistants
  • Legal Support Workers
  • Title Clerk

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
Most entrants have an associate degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree coupled with a certificate in paralegal studies.

Experience
     
Because law clerks frequently deal with the public, they should be courteous and uphold the ethical standards of the legal profession.

Salary

The median annual salary for a Law Clerk is $38,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $63,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $22,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of law clerks are:

  • Legal Services - $39,690
  • Local Government- $39,350
  • State Government - $46,880
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises - $42,340
  • Federal Executive Branch- $59,990

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  22%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 53,000
  • Employment 2006 : 238,000
  • Employment 2016:  291,000
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