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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.

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


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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