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Law Clerk Salary

Law Clerks in the United States take home approximately $15.02 per hour on average. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Women make up a slight majority of Law Clerks (58 percent) survey respondents. Although approximately half have medical coverage and more than a third have dental coverage, around half claim no health benefits at all. Work is enjoyable for Law Clerks, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$25,851 - $75,425
(Median)
$26K
$42K
$75K
MEDIAN: $41,794
10%
50%
90%

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$9.98 - $22.46
(Median)
$10
$15
$22
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$25,851 - $75,425  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,071  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,251 - $61,397  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 253
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$9.98 - $22.46  
   
Overtime
$10.39 - $34.44  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,071  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,251 - $61,397  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 437

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Job Description for Law Clerk

A law clerk's primary function is to perform research pertaining to legal issues. They may work for a judge or a private attorney. Law clerks provide necessary assistance to those in professional law positions who cannot do all of the research and paperwork themselves. They may also assist a judge in making legal decisions.

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Law Clerk Tasks

  • Research and analyze law sources to prepare drafts of briefs or arguments for review, approval and use by attorney.
  • Prepare affidavits of documents and maintain document files and case correspondence.
  • Review and file pleadings, petitions and other documents relevant to court actions.
  • Search for and study legal documents to investigate facts and law of cases.
  • Deliver or direct delivery of subpoenas to witnesses and parties to action, serve copies of pleas to opposing counsel.

Common Career Paths for Law Clerk


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There are some Law Clerks — though it's uncommon — that transition into General Counsels, where earnings are an average $149K annually. Law Clerks most often move into positions as Attorneys or Associate Attorneys; those groups report median salaries that are $46K higher and $37K higher, respectively.

Law Clerk Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Law Clerk


Survey results show that Law Clerks use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Legal Writing, Document Preparation, Legal Research, and Legal Document Review are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 12 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Client Interaction and Filing Court Documents. Most people skilled in Legal Research are similarly competent in Legal Document Review.

Pay by Experience Level for Law Clerk

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Law Clerks, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $33K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $39K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Law Clerks make a median salary of $39K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $61K on average.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Law Clerk Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 77%



National Average
$34,000


Skills That Affect Law Clerk Salaries

Document Preparation
up arrow 12%

Legal Writing
up arrow 12%


Legal Document Review
up arrow 4%

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

National Average
$34,000

Filing Court Documents
up arrow 9%

Client Interaction
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 128 votes.

Gender

Female
58 %
Male
42 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
17%
1-4 years
64%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
6%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 49% dental benefits Dental: 36%
vision benefits Vision: 28% employee benefits None: 49%