Law Clerk Salary

Pay for Law Clerks in the United States sits in the ballpark of $15.02 per hour. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. While more than half report receiving no health benefits, a little over a half do receive medical coverage, and around one in three have dental, as well. Work is enjoyable for Law Clerks, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Men are slightly outnumbered by their female counterparts who answered the questionnaire, who make up a slight majority at 54 percent. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$27,042 - $78,611
(Median)
$27K
$43K
$79K
MEDIAN: $43,204
10%
50%
90%

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$10.17 - $21.69
(Median)
$10
$15
$22
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$27,042 - $78,611  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,435  
Profit Sharing
$3,500  
Commission
$2,000  
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).
)
$22,735 - $60,682  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 266
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$10.17 - $21.69  
   
Overtime
$15.13 - $36.26  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,435  
   
Commission
$2,000  
Profit Sharing
$3,500  
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).
)
$22,735 - $60,682  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 505
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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.

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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 it's uncommon, some Law Clerks move into roles as General Counsels, where pay is an average $150K 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.

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Popular Skills for Law Clerk


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


Law Clerks generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $33K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $40K. Law Clerks who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $41K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $66K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $34,503

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Washington is home to an above-average pay rate for Law Clerks, 46 percent higher than the national average. Law Clerks can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+35 percent), San Francisco (+27 percent), New York (+21 percent), and Newport Beach (+19 percent). The lowest-paying market is Philadelphia, which sits 20 percent below the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Chicago (11 percent lower) and Fort Lauderdale (10 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Law Clerk Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 92%



National Average
$35,000


Skills That Affect Law Clerk Salaries

Legal Writing
up arrow 19%

Legal Research
up arrow 4%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 3%

Technical Writing
up arrow 3%

Document Preparation
up arrow 3%

National Average
$35,000

Client Interaction
up arrow 9%

Filing Court Documents
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 116 votes.

Gender

Female
54 %
Male
46 %

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 47%
dental benefits
Dental: 33%
medical benefits
Vision: 26%
dental benefits
None: 52%
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