What does a Law Clerk do?

Law clerks are attorneys who work for judges in the municipal, state, and federal court systems. They are called upon to draft memoranda and opinions and to perform tasks for judges, including legal research. As the right-hand assistants to their judges, law clerks make recommendations about the disposition of cases and appeals. They have the ability to heavily influence a judge's decision based solely upon their research, which lends to their potential to contribute to the formation of new case laws.

Law clerks verify legal citations, attend hearings, and provide support for their judges during any and all court hearings and proceedings. In assistant roles, clerks prepare files for hearings and manage their judges' filing systems. Through their research, law clerks assist judges in making informed legal decisions. They prepare the documentation used within legal proceedings alongside various legal documents that will be used later on or in proceedings. To be a law clerk, most judges prefer to hire recent law school graduates with a Juris Doctor degree.

EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Law Clerk Salaries

Average Base Pay

$70,531 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$31K
Median: $71K
$161K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Law Clerk Career Path

Learn how to become a Law Clerk, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Law Clerk
$70,531/yr
L3
Senior Law Clerk
$136,711/yr
L4
Staff Law Clerk
$65,810/yr
See Career Path

Law Clerk Insights

Read what Law Clerk professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Modern Family Law
Summer Law Clerk
Sep 17, 2019

“I was able to make good personal and professional connections because everyone was personable and friendly.”

Winn SolicitorsWinn Solicitors
Legal Clerk
Dec 20, 2021

“I enjoy having the responsibility of running my own claims and the bonus scheme is really great too”

Cool SpringzCool Springz
Court Monitor
Aug 15, 2019

“Time employed was a great opportunity for me and I can honestly say I had no cons.”

Law Offices of Jessica Dominguez
Law Clerk
Aug 5, 2021

“The supervising attorneys were willing to teach and provide sound feedback to encourage growth and development.”

Sweet JamesSweet James
Law Clerk
Nov 24, 2020

“I feel like i am apart of a great family working at this firm and I wouldn't have it any other way!”

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & GogginMarshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin
Law Clerk/Associate
Mar 26, 2021

“I have had the opportunity to work with excellent attorneys who have really taken the time to mentor me.”

The Law Offices of Max ElliottThe Law Offices of Max Elliott
Senior Legal Clerk
Mar 2, 2021

“I do not take this lightly when I say that Max is the best boss I have ever had.”

DesjardinsDesjardins
Law Clerk
Jan 16, 2020

“Zero career growth unless switch departments but then you can't since don't have the designations.”

See More

Law Clerk Interviews

Related Careers

Legal Consultant
$91,178
Paralegal
$51,166
38% skills overlap
Legal Analyst
$66,411
13% skills overlap
Legal Assistant
$44,552
38% skills overlap

Law Clerk Jobs

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a law clerk

When working as a law clerk, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Written Communication, juris Doctorate, Writing, Requests, and Jd Degree.

The most similar professions to law clerk are:
  • Legal Consultant
  • Paralegal
  • Legal Analyst
  • Legal Assistant

The most common qualifications to become a law clerk include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.