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Law Clerk Salary (United States)

Law Clerks in the United States can expect to earn an average of $14.90 per hour. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Although roughly one-half have medical coverage and over a third have dental coverage, slightly less than one-half claim no health benefits at all. Women make up a slight majority of Law Clerks (56 percent). Most Law Clerks like their work and job satisfaction is high. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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.
)
$25,233 - $68,535
(Median)
25K
40K
51K
69K
MEDIAN: $39,934
10%
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.
)
$9.93 - $23.06
(Median)
9
15
19
23
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
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$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$25,233 - $68,535  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,041  
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).
)
$21,110 - $57,998  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 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
$9.93 - $23.06  
   
Overtime
$13.41 - $35.12  
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 - $2,041  
   
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).
)
$21,110 - $57,998  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 445
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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 typically $147K annually. Law Clerks most often move into positions as Attorneys or Associate Attorneys; those groups report median salaries that are $47K higher and $38K higher, respectively.

Law Clerk Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Law Clerk

Law Clerks seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Legal Document Review, Legal Research, Technical Writing, and Filing Court Documents are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Client Interaction and Filing Court Documents. The majority of those who know Legal Research also know Legal Document Review.

Pay Difference By Location

Washington
up arrow 53%
San Francisco
up arrow 53%
Seattle
up arrow 40%
San Diego
up arrow 13%
New York
up arrow 12%
Los Angeles
0%
National Average
$33,000
Houston
up arrow 7%
Philadelphia
up arrow 7%
Chicago
up arrow 8%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Washington offers some of the highest pay in the country for Law Clerks, 53 percent above the national average. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and New York, where Law Clerks typically earn around 53 percent, 40 percent, 13 percent, and 12 percent more than usual. Trailing the national average by 8 percent, Chicago is the market with the smallest paychecks. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Houston and Philadelphia (7 percent less).

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Experience Affects Law Clerk Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 14%
National Average
$33,000

Skills That Affect Law Clerk Salaries

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%
National Average
$33,000
Filing Court Documents
up arrow 3%
Client Interaction
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 144 votes.

Gender

Female
56%
female alumni
 
Male
44%
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: 36%
vision benefits Vision: 27% employee benefits None: 47%