Law clerk career is worthy because it offers good salary. In addition, an opportunity to work with different legal professionals and a chance to carry out variety of administrative duties. Remember, it is not a fast track way to become a lawyer.
What to expect from becoming a law clerk? What are the responsibilities? Will you be able to handle the stress? For this, understand the needed skills, job responsibilities, and educational skills.
To perform law clerk jobs efficiently, once you are hired there are specific soft and hard skills needed. Some you will attain through education and others through work and life experience.
- Good listening skills
- Strong organizational and clerical skills
- Pay attention to details
- Competent to work under minimum supervision
- Excellent communication skills
- Powerful legal research ability
- Familiar with legal terminology and documents
- Deep knowledge related to MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook
General Job duties
A law clerk will provide technical support to judges, lawyers, paralegals and other legal professionals. The duties differ from one job to another, but in general you will need to perform –
- Serve plea copies or legal papers to opposing counsel
- Receive jobs from lawyers and paralegals
- Arbitrate disputes between parties
- Possibly make travel and accommodation arrangements for jurors
- Assist attorney in deposition and trial preparation
- Organize subpoenas delivery to witnesses
- Study legal documents and search for information, which helps to investigate the case
- Determine the cause of action as well as help in case preparations through research
- Draft and file legal papers
Education prerequisite for a law clerk depends on employer discretion, either a holder of high school diploma or having a law degree. Basically, it depends on the responsibility level of the position. For some employers, a candidate with experience of working in legal environment will ask for high school diploma.
There are others, who seek for law clerk certification or associate degree or legal assistant qualification. Many employers need you to have completed, a law degree.
Is law clerk career right for you?
Ellery Gordon, a popular clerk working as a law clerk in Los Angeles defines the traits needed.
- Have teamwork attitude
- Take work responsibilities seriously
- Willingly follow rules and directions
- Practical, task-oriented, and analytical
- Have ethical behaviour, workplace decorum, and commitment to confidentiality
- Possess capability to identify an issue and weigh its pros and cons
- Enjoy compiling information methodically
- Good at communicating and researching legal aspects
In California State, Ellery is the best one to give valuable suggestions. Interested ones living around Arizona and Los Angles can benefit from his worthy advice related to choosing a law clerk career.
Salary amount depends on the following aspects –
- Professional qualifications like education and experience
- Employer’s budget and size
- Region and industry you work
- Scope of job responsibilities
In the United States, according to BLS the mean salary for judicial law clerk job is $54,350 per year.