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Law Clerk Salary (United States)

The average Law Clerk in the United States earns approximately $14.98 per hour. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women make up a slight majority of Law Clerks (57 percent) survey respondents. While some workers in this profession — approximately one-half — do not have any health coverage, half do receive medical benefits and over a third have dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Law Clerks, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Law Clerk Salary (?
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.
)
$25,394 - $74,982
(Median)
25K
32K
41K
56K
75K
MEDIAN: $41,042
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Law Clerk Salary (?
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.
)
$9.96 - $22.70
(Median)
10
12
15
19
23
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$25,394 - $74,982  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,059  
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).
)
$21,194 - $60,596  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 255
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
$9.96 - $22.70  
   
Overtime
$11.13 - $35.78  
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 - $2,059  
   
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).
)
$21,194 - $60,596  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 439
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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.
Read More...
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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It's not very common for Law Clerks to move on to become General Counsels. Average pay for a General Counsel is $148K annually. Attorneys or Associate Attorneys are common next-step roles for Law Clerks moving up in their careers; annual pay for Attorneys is $46K higher on average, and it's $38K higher for Associate Attorneys.

Law Clerk Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Law Clerk

Survey results imply that Law Clerks put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Legal Writing, Legal Document Review, Legal Research, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 13 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Client Interaction and Filing Court Documents. Those educated in Legal Research tend to be well versed in Legal Document Review.

Pay by Experience Level for Law Clerk

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $33K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $39K on average. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $39K in this role. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $63K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference By Location

Washington
up arrow 57%
San Francisco
up arrow 47%
Seattle
up arrow 37%
Los Angeles
up arrow 7%
New York
up arrow 7%
National Average
$34,000
San Diego
up arrow 2%
Houston
up arrow 7%
Chicago
up arrow 8%
Philadelphia
up arrow 9%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Law Clerks, Washington provides a pay rate that is 57 percent greater than the national average. Law Clerks can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+47 percent), Seattle (+37 percent), New York (+7 percent), and Los Angeles (+7 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Philadelphia, 9 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Chicago (8 percent lower) and Houston (7 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Law Clerk Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 84%
National Average
$34,000

Skills That Affect Law Clerk Salaries

Legal Writing
up arrow 13%
Technical Writing
up arrow 2%
National Average
$34,000
Filing Court Documents
up arrow 5%
Client Interaction
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 131 votes.

Gender

Female
57%
female alumni
 
Male
43%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
16%
1-4 years
65%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
5%
20 years or more
1%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 51% dental benefits Dental: 37%
vision benefits Vision: 29% employee benefits None: 48%