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, attorneys, and judges.
Each employer has their own unique set of requirements for law clerks. However, a law clerk diploma or degree in legal studies 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 law clerk 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.
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. This is especially true for those that aspire to work in a federal court for a federal judge.