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.

What responsibilities are common for Law Clerk jobs?
  • Prepare and draft legal documents, such as motions, briefs, memoranda of law, etc.
  • Endow a fund donor database, producing annual scholarship and other endowed funds reports.
  • Work under the direction of a supervisory paralegal or a project supervisor.
  • Primary interface with trial attorneys, experts, and other client staff.
  • Occasionally handle emergency or crisis situations. frequently subject to interruptions, and multiple calls and inquiries.
  • Process Civil Rights and Privacy complaints by responding to correspondence and phone calls.
  • Under general supervision, perform advanced journey level, complex, and highly confidential legal secretarial work for judges.
  • Assist with the negotiations of LOIs, commercial leases, APAs, supply agreements, and other contracts as necessary.
  • Maintain detailed and confidential records, manage all courtroom activities and functions, and act as liaison between defendants, court personnel and the judicial officer.
  • Utilize various case management systems to maintain the accuracy of the court record.
  • Schedule hearings, facilitate both in-person and virtual hearings, and provide notice to parties and attorneys.
  • Work on special projects as assigned and other projects as needed.
  • Assist in the receipt and evaluation of new complaints.
  • Travel is required throughout the district and court sites to attend meetings and trainings.
What are the typical qualifications for Law Clerk jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in accounting or law or GED/high school diploma and equivalent experience.
  • Experience with R language.
  • Fluency in standard practices and forms such as notices, petitions, and file management.
  • Confident utilizing critical thinking and info gathering to disseminate findings and assist in decision making.
  • Experience in an advocacy position.
  • Comfortable with problem-solving.
  • Mastery of file management.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.9 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Law Clerk make near United States?

$91,644 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
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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.

Summer Intern Law Clerk
Law Clerk
Senior Law Clerk
Law Clerk

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Law Clerk Insights

Read what Law Clerk professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
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”

Robb Leonard MulvahillRobb Leonard Mulvahill
Law Clerk
Feb 13, 2022

“It is an amazing place to work and learn With the best civil litigation attorneys in Pittsburgh.”

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.”

Harrison Estate LawHarrison Estate Law
1L Summer Law Clerk
Aug 30, 2023

“It was overall a great opportunity to learn about a legal field I was interested in.”

My AZ LawyersMy AZ Lawyers
Law Clerk
Apr 22, 2023

“My salary as a law clerk was equivalent to what many other firms I have seen list for attorney positions.”

Iowa Judicial BranchIowa Judicial Branch
Judicial Specialist III
Aug 1, 2023

“Same raise across the board whether you are below average employee and the best employ ever so no real incentive to do well.”

Resource CorporationResource Corporation
Lien Specialist
Mar 9, 2023

“I expressed how I felt about the training and the unprofessionalism and they retaliated against me !”

Los Angeles CountyLos Angeles County
Certified Law Clerk
Jan 5, 2022

“1 interaction with a judge for your cases is the best experience to have to see whether being a trial attorney is right for you.”

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Law Clerk Interviews

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:
  • Paralegal
  • Legal Assistant
  • Legal Secretary
  • Legal Advisor

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.

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38% skills overlap
Legal Assistant
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Legal Secretary
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Legal Advisor

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