How To Be A Law Clerk?

How To Be A Law Clerk
The pathway for a law clerk is usually one that includes studying to become an attorney, and in most cases, completing a law degree, as well as passing the bar. ‘Aside from having a law degree, legal clerks may be required by judges to pass the bar exams,’ says Clark.

How do you become a law clerk in the US?

What is a Law Clerk? | Law Clerk Training | Degree Programs A law clerk will help lawyers and judges in law firms, courts, and other types of legal settings. In order to become a law clerk there is some training required. The legal field is extremely complex and changes consistently.

In order to keep up with these changes a team of legal professionals is necessary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 41,550 law clerks employed throughout the United States. Job Description of a Law Clerk A law clerk performs a wide variety of tasks such as preparing legal documents, conducting legal analysis, and conducting research.


A law clerk will prepare draft opinions for cases that will act as the foundation for lawyers and judges. They will also help during the course of an action by preparing for a case and examining legal documents. This includes preparing legal documents such as petitions, legal complaints, and affidavits.

  • A law clerk will help a judge by providing information about the priority of the cases that are to be presented to the court and the status of each case.
  • They will also help with the translation of legal documents.
  • Law clerks set up equipment in the court room to ensure that it is ready for each particular case.

They may also act as a liaison between clients,, and judges. Educational Requirements Each employer has their own unique set of requirements for law clerks. However, a law clerk diploma or degree in is typically a baseline requirement. The majority of individuals that wish to work as a law clerk will complete a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of law school.

  • Individuals that want to work for a federal judge as a law clerk will want to complete law school.
  • In order to be eligible for law school a person must first earn a bachelor’s degree.
  • The next step is taking and passing the LSAT (Law School Administration Test).
  • Law school typically will take at least three years to complete as a full time student.

Judicial internships are recommended as law clerk positions require an individual to have sufficient experience in the legal field. It is also very important for a to remain up to date on all current legal issues and laws and the majority of employers will require a law clerk to take continuing education courses regularly.

Job Availability According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for law clerks, legal assistants, and paralegals, is expected to grow by 28% by 2018. This is a faster rate of growth than average for every profession. However, it is important to note that even with the high rate of growth; potential law clerks are going to experience extensive competition for jobs because the profession is quite popular.

This is why it is recommended that a person interested in becoming a law clerk obtain more than a bachelor’s degree and go on to complete law school. In addition, a person will need to work in the legal industry to gain experience if they truly want to work as a law clerk.

How long does it take to become a law clerk in Ontario?

The two-year Law Clerk diploma program at Humber College is partnered with leading law firms, industry offices and government bodies throughout Ontario.

Is law clerk course hard?

You’re a Good Problem-Solver with an Analytical Mind – Legal work is often complex and challenging, requiring law clerks to use logic and careful reasoning, as well as the expertise they’ve acquired through their training, to navigate through a variety of complicated legal issues.

Is it better to be a law clerk or paralegal?

Because law clerks require greater schooling and often have stricter job requirements, they typically earn higher salaries than paralegals on average. Of course, location, experience level and employer can all impact the earning estimates of both positions.

What is the easiest branch of law?

Real Estate Law – Many professional lawyers believe that real estate law is the least stressful and most accessible field compared to other law fields. A real estate lawyer must learn the basics while knowing the special provisions often repeated across different real estate cases.

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What does a legal clerk do?

What does a legal clerk do? Legal clerks perform clerical and operational tasks to assist in the work of legal professionals. They may assist in court cases and help courts function properly, research legal practices and assist with administering trusts.

What does a typical day look like for a law clerk?

Where does the life of a law clerk truly begin? Some might say its at the time of acceptance of the job offer; others may say that the life begins on that very first day of work. Whatever your preference is of little importance because the life of a law clerk is anything but glamorous.

Your alarm sounds at 6 A.M. on that fogging Monday morning with no light shining to help you get motivated for the day. Your pet gets in the routine of waking up this early every morning so that they begin to wake you up at this time on Saturdays and Sundays. But, you start your day with a large waking cup of coffee with half a bowl of sugar and creamer just so you can have something sweet to look forward to in the day.

If you actually got out of bed at 6 A.M., you have plenty of time to make yourself a hot and fancy breakfast. HOWEVER, if you are like me, you only have 15 minutes to get ready and get out of the house so you aren’t at work after 8 A.M. (It’s something I have come to live with.

I would rather get more sleep than eat a hot breakfast). Picking an outfit also isn’t as fabulous as it sounds (We can’t all be Cher with our computer that matches our designer clothes). You want to be professional like the attorneys but you know that you are no where near their level of professionalism.

So, I usually dress in business casual clothes and nice flats or wedges. I hate it. If I could show up to work in workout clothes, I would and feel no remorse. I think the world would be a better place if everyone could dress comfortably and be professional at the same time.

  1. So, you put on your clothes and then you head to the bathroom to make sure you look fresh and hygienic.
  2. The professional world is not kind to those who do not look fit and ready for the tasks at hand.
  3. So, if you are on day 4 without washing your hair.
  4. UMMM take a shower or at least put some dry shampoo in your hair.

Also, make sure to wash your face because people really pay attention to your complexion-even if you don’t wash your face TWICE a day, at least attempt to do it when you take a shower (remember exfoliate, tone, and moisturize). Another big point to watch out for is your hair! Make sure your hair looks clean and presentable.

  1. Now, I have SUPER curly hair so this has always been a problem for me because my hair is REALLY REALLY poofy so I look like a child on most days, but my hair is clean.
  2. I always change up my hair style.
  3. Some days I will straighten it and other days I will keep it natural.
  4. Now, it is time to decide if you want to put on makeup.

I personally don’t wear make up (except on rare occasions) but I make sure to keep my face super clean. It’s up to you. I think people look professional with or without makeup. All that matters is that you feel confident. DONT FORGET TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND PUT ON DEODORANT.

  1. Seriously, people notice if you don’t smell good and that could be a lasting impression on someone).
  2. So, now you can head out the door just to be stuck in morning traffic to your law clerkship.
  3. You make it to the parking garage where hopefully your firm or agency is paying for your spot and get ready for the day.

I usually have to sit in my car for a few moments to muster up the strength to walk to the office because, honestly, I am still asleep at this point. So, you walk to the office (pray that it’s not raining so you don’t get your nice outfit all wet) and greet the front receptionist.

  • Try to be on their good side, so they won’t tattle when you show up a little late on some mornings 😉 But, then you need to make your morning rounds.
  • Tell your favorite coworkers “hi,” greet any attorneys you see and ask them about their weekend, and find your second cup of coffee (if you make friends with some of the full time employees, they might let you drink from their private stash).
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After your morning politicing, you finally sit down at your computer to sift through 1000 emails. Some are about your position-projects to work on, and others are nonsense about events going on, news, or spam. Once, you go through that, you start on your existing projects.

  • For the most part you are working on motions, memos in support/opposition, discovery responses, depo prep, etc.
  • You really learn A LOT about civil procedure while clerking.
  • Honestly, I don’t know why we even take civil procedure, you should just be required to clerk somewhere because I learned every thing I know about Louisiana Civil Procedure from clerking.

Getting assigned projects is intimidating and rewarding all at the same time. When you first start, you are given pretty simple tasks like basic research about cases the attorneys are working on and organizing files (which is the most tedious yet fulfilling task ever).

Once the attorneys see that they can trust your research and writing skills, you start getting the harder projects. MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT is one example because the amount of research both on the discovery of the case and the law is strenuous and time consuming. Additionally, when one attorney praises you in front of the other attorneys, you get bombarded with enough work to last you an entire year.

It’s all about trust. You trust your employers to train you to become an adequate attorney and they trust you to find the right research to win their case. The biggest thing I can say about being a law clerk is that you need to make sure that you are constantly visible to the attorneys and that you are always asking for more work.

  1. The more eager you seem to learn and be a part of the office, the more respect you will gain during your time at the firm or agency.
  2. I have gotten to experience so many awesome opportunities just because I am always bothering someone with questions.
  3. Additionally, don’t forget that the attorneys are humans who have lives outside of work, so make sure to remember details about their personal life so you can bring it up in conversation.

Law clerks aren’t robots that are meant to only produce work. We are there to potentially gain employment and learn how to be an attorney. Typically, your day will consist of accompanying attorneys at meetings, writing, researching, filing documents at court, or even watching hearings at court.

  1. My biggest advice is to make sure you don’t stay stuck in your office.
  2. You miss out on so many opportunities if you don’t go out and walk around in the office.
  3. Now, don’t do this if you have work to complete, but if you are able to spare thirty minutes, go talk to an attorney in their office and pick their brain.

By the end of the day, you are ready to go home and not talk to a soul. You are mentally and physically exhausted from the politicing and work you conducted while at the office. Take a nap, read a book, go exercise or something. You can’t let the stress of being a law clerk wear you down.

  • You still have a life outside of work.
  • And hopefully you are being compensated for your time because this makes life a little less stressful.
  • Being a law clerk has been the most rewarding experience during law school.
  • I highly recommend you take the time to work in a firm or at an agency.
  • I have made so many connections, learned the routine of an average 9-5 job, and learned so much about how the legal system works.

The day of a law clerk is stressful but totally worth it.

What should I wear to a law clerk interview?

Dress for Success – Before you go into an interview, remember that how you dress is important. Your attire should reflect your professionalism and contribute to your confidence level. Make sure your clothes are clean, neat and in good repair. Shoes should be shined and well-heeled.

Wear a suit in a dark neutral color: navy, black, grey. In the most conservative law firms, suits with skirts are best, but suits with pants are now acceptable at most firms. If you wear suit with a skirt, the skirt should be no shorter than two inches above your knee. Do not wear a low-cut blouse or tight, revealing clothing. Keep makeup understated. Keep nails trimmed and use only a clear or pale shade if your nails are polished. Jewelry should be at a minimum; wear simple, non-dangling earrings and a plain bracelet, if any. Hair should be neat; if it is long, keep it controlled. Shoes should be plain pumps, 1-2 inch heel in good repair, in the same color as your suit; wear sheer hose in the same color as your suit or neutral tone. You may carry a small purse, briefcase, or portfolio.

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Your suit should be a dark, neutral color, with or without a faint pinstripe; gray and navy are preferable. Your tie should match your suit – ask the sales associate if you have a question. Your tie should be conservative silk in a simple stripe or repeating pattern, and no more than 3 colors; the background color should be neutral, like navy or burgundy. Men should wear black or burgundy leather shoes, polished and un-worn heels; wing tip and plain lace up shoes are best. Socks should be over-the-calf and should match your pants – no white gym socks! White shirts are a safe bet. Your complete ensemble should be clean and pressed – especially your shirt. If your hair is long, trim it; if you have an earring, don’t wear it; if you have a beard or mustache, trim it.

What branch of law pays the most?

Trial Lawyers – Trial lawyers are among the highest paid legal professionals in the world. Thousands practice across the globe, but civil litigators who handle high dollar, high profile and high stakes cases are the most highly compensated. Not all lawyers take in high incomes, however.

What is a clerk of court salary?

Salary estimates based on salary survey data collected directly from employers and anonymous employees in South Africa. An entry level court clerk (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of R180,997. On the other end, a senior level court clerk (8+ years of experience) earns an average salary of R283,941.

What is a law clerk in the US?

The duties and functions of a federal judicial law clerk are determined by the employing judge. In most chambers, law clerks concentrate on legal research and writing. Typically, the broad range of duties assigned to a law clerk includes conducting legal research, preparing bench memos, drafting orders and opinions, proofreading the judge’s orders and opinions, verifying citations, communicating with counsel regarding case management and procedural requirements, and assisting the judge during courtroom proceedings.

  1. Some judges also may assign maintaining the chambers library, and other administrative duties to the law clerk.
  2. Because there are a myriad of tasks that may be assigned to a law clerk, the Online System for Clerkship Application and Review (OSCAR) permits a judge to identify any particular duties that are required in the position announcement.

Judicial law clerks also are expected to work cooperatively with chambers staff and court personnel. The employing judge must be confident in the law clerk’s professionalism in interacting with counsel, litigants and the public. A law clerk is bound by the ethical standards established by the judge and the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees.

What is a law clerk in US law firm?

Law Clerk – Law clerks are legal professional who work for a lawyer or judge. Their job is to help the supervising attorney or judge research and determine legal options in a case. They will consult journals, legal books, prior cases and even legal magazines.

  • Responsibilities of a law clerk can differ somewhat if they work for an attorney rather than a judge, or vice versa.
  • Many graduates from law school get their start as a law clerk with a sitting judge.
  • For example, our firm’s founder, R.
  • Mack Babcock, was a law clerk in the Colorado District Courts under the Honorable Michael A.


Are law clerks the same as paralegals?

Conclusion – While paralegals and law clerks undertake similar supportive tasks their roles and training have distinct differences. In addition to supportive legal roles, licensed paralegals are allowed to represent clients independently and set up their own practices, while law clerks will always work under the direct supervision of a lawyer or team of lawyers.