Law Clerk Responsibilities

The individuals who are aspiring to stabilize themselves in the legal field can make an entry in this profession by applying for the position of a law clerk. These individuals may either be pursuing their legal education or may have completed it. The law clerk responsibilities are mostly related to legal research and administrative work that involves a broad range of duties like drafting the opinions and orders, preparing the memos, verifying the citations, proof reading and editing the orders of the judge, etc. Thus, they are responsible for handling the entry level technical and legal work and generally function under the supervision of the immediate attorney and get trained in various areas related to legal analysis, research, reporting and may perform other related duties as well.

Key Responsibilities of a Law Clerk

The law clerk plays a vital role and is an integral part of the legal system and assists him/her to learn more about this profession and apply this acquired knowledge in his/her future legal careers. He/she is responsible for performing the most critical duties that are involved in the legal process and generally functions as the main supporting person to a judge or an attorney at the local, federal or state level. While carrying out these duties, he/she is able to gain the most valuable experience. Here is a detailed description of the primary duties and responsibilities that need to be handled by a law clerk:

  1. To provide valuable support to the legal teams by executing the legal and technical tasks as per the instructions given by the attorney or any other legal staff member
  2. To conduct thorough research work and verify the legal citations and the points that have been mentioned in the memorandum by the attorneys
  3. To gather and compile all the legal records and organize them in an appropriate manner and perform detailed analysis of the relevant legal data to research for the legal issues
  4. To perform the administrative supportive functions like drafting the correspondence, pleadings, briefs, opinions, legal memoranda, and any other related legal documentation
  5. To attend the client meetings and to respond to the attorney request in case of a legal opinion
  6. To extract and review the information from the available technical material, to research and download the required data from the computer that may include any related correspondence, procedural instructions and guidelines and assist in initiating complex research projects and papers for the attorneys

The law clerk, thus, is involved in handling a variety of functions such as research, support and administrative. He/she is responsible for reviewing, studying and researching the law, especially the oral motions made during the trial sessions, preparing the statement of issues and briefs, and assisting in preparing the opinions and judgment that need to be reviewed by the judges. He/she is involved in compiling all the necessary references and collecting information about the decisions that would assist in taking better legal determinations. He/she confers with the attorney pertaining to construction of the legal documents, any relevant legal questions, granting of orders, etc.

He/she attends the court proceedings and records the most significant information he/she has heard during the oral arguments. He/she conducts legal research and interviews, and assists in managing all the filing system and drafting legislation. He/she may also be involved in preparing the educational material related to the legal field and is responsible for providing the most trusted support to the attorney or judge. He/she is accountable for receiving and processing the cases, assigning the docket numbers and submitting them to court so that the summons or warrants are issued. He/she checks all the related mails and prioritizes them as per the requests made. He/she is responsible for computing the charges for various legal proceedings, balancing the daily transactions and reporting them to the accounting department.

Essential Skills

The individual aspiring to establish in this legal field should be able to read and interpret complex legal data and information. He/she should be able to maintain effective relationship with the clients and should have good written skills to be able to handle the relevant legal correspondence efficiently. He/she should be comfortable doing multiple numerical computations and should have good reasoning ability. Excellent persuasive and researching skills combined with in depth understanding of various procedures of the court and other relevant legal knowledge is a must.

Educational Background

The basic eligibility criteria required to qualify as a law clerk is that the candidate should be a law graduate or should be in process of completing that degree course. However, the individuals who have enough exposure in the legal field will surely be preferred over the inexperienced ones.

Work Environment and Salary Details

This professional works in a normal office environment and may be employed by the corporate legal sectors, or by private law firms, or in local, state or federal judicial offices. The salary will differ from one person to another depending on the relevant skills, experience and academic background that an individual comes from. However, to give you a general idea, it is close to $47,000. The earning potential may go up to the level of $100,000 on an annual basis.

Career Prospects

The employment prospects for hiring these professionals is expected to increase by about eighteen percent in the coming ten years. Though there will be a strong competition, those with the right kind of education and experience can surely look forward to a lucrative career.

Thus, if you want to establish yourself in this legal industry, the best way to push your career ahead is by effectively handling the law clerk responsibilities, which will not only help you to gain valuable knowledge and experience, but will also aid in taking your career to new heights.

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