Law Clerk Salary

Law Clerks in the United States pull down an average of $15.01 per hour. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Women make up a slight majority of Law Clerks (56 percent) survey respondents. Health benefits are not claimed by all — one-half lack any form of coverage — but nearly one-half have medical insurance, and over a third have dental, too. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$26,395 - $74,124

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$10.13 - $22.18

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$26,395 - $74,124  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,504  
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).
)
$22,179 - $61,366  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 263
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$10.13 - $22.18  
   
Overtime
$12.00 - $35.12  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,504  
   
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).
)
$22,179 - $61,366  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 457
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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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Though not the most common occurrence, Law Clerks sometimes become General Counsels, where the average income is $149K per year. The most common next step for a Law Clerk is to become an Attorney or an Associate Attorney. The former position pays an additional $46K per year on average, and the latter position pays $37K more per year.

Law Clerk Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Law Clerk


Law Clerks report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Legal Writing, Legal Research, Legal Document Review, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Filing Court Documents and Client Interaction. Most people who know Legal Research also know Legal Document Review.

Pay by Experience Level for Law Clerk

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


Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $33K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $40K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $39K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $64K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Law Clerks, Washington provides a pay rate that is 51 percent greater than the national average. Law Clerks can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+36 percent), San Francisco (+24 percent), Newport Beach (+20 percent), and New York (+12 percent). Fort Lauderdale is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 16 percent. Workers in Tallahassee and Chicago earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (16 percent less and 12 percent less, respectively).

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Experience Affects Law Clerk Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 87%



National Average
$34,000


Skills That Affect Law Clerk Salaries

Legal Writing
up arrow 9%

Legal Research
up arrow 4%

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 2%

National Average
$34,000

Document Preparation
up arrow 1%

Client Interaction
up arrow 11%

Filing Court Documents
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 120 votes.

Gender

Female
56 %
Male
44 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
16%
1-4 years
64%
5-9 years
12%
10-19 years
6%
20 years or more
2%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 50% dental benefits Dental: 36%
vision benefits Vision: 28% employee benefits None: 49%
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