Law Clerk Salary
|Salary||$28,977 - $78,517|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $3,800|
|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).)
|$24,224 - $56,731|
|Hourly Rate||$10.92 - $20.81|
|Overtime||$16.92 - $36.92|
|Bonus||$0.00 - $3,800|
|Total Pay (||$24,224 - $56,731|
Job Description for Law Clerk
A law clerk's primary function is to perform research for a judge pertaining to legal issues before their court; they may work at the federal, state or municipal levels. Specific tasks performed by law clerks include drafting memoranda and opinions, preparing files for hearings and providing other support to judges as hearings are underway. They also review briefs to ensure they are accurate, as well as provide advice to the judge and others on their team related to cases.Read More...
Law clerks must be skilled writers and legal researchers with excellent critical thinking and organizational skills. They need to have an excellent understanding of the law and be able to work well under deadline pressure. Additionally, law clerks need to pay close attention to detail, as well as be able to multitask.
The position of law clerk is often an entry-level job in the legal profession, with clerks going on to work full time as lawyers in the public or private sector. Law clerks must have graduated from law school and have passed the state bar examination. Generally, clerkships are competitive and individuals needed to have performed well in law school to earn a clerkship; this is especially true at high levels such as the Supreme Court and federal courts.
Law Clerk Tasks
- 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.
- Review and file pleadings, petitions and other documents relevant to court actions.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Law Clerk
There are some Law Clerks — though it's uncommon — that transition into General Counsels, where earnings are an average $152K annually. Attorneys or Associate Attorneys are common next-step roles for Law Clerks moving up in their careers; annual pay for Attorneys is $47K higher on average, and it's $38K higher for Associate Attorneys.
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Popular Skills for Law Clerk
Law Clerks report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Legal Writing and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 47 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Filing Court Documents, Client Interaction, and Document Preparation. Most people skilled in Legal Document Review are similarly competent in Technical Writing.
Pay by Experience Level for Law Clerk
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $33K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $41K. Law Clerks claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $43K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't higher than less experienced individuals' earnings.
Pay Difference by Location
For Law Clerks, working in the bustling city of Washington has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Law Clerks can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+36 percent), New York (+24 percent), San Francisco (+22 percent), and Newport Beach (+22 percent). Dallas ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 12 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Fort Lauderdale (9 percent lower) and Tampa (8 percent lower).
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Key Stats for Law Clerk
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