An average Law Clerk in the United States can expect to take home roughly $14.96 per hour. Geography and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Law Clerks enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A little more than half of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, more than two-fifths report medical coverage and just under a third claim dental coverage as well. Men make up a slight majority of Law Clerks (51 percent) who responded to the survey. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$28,651 - $76,411
(Median)
$29K
$41K
$76K
MEDIAN: $41,490
10%
50%
90%

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$10.62 - $20.57
(Median)
$11
$15
$21
MEDIAN: $14.00
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$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$28,651 - $76,411  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,878  
Profit Sharing
$4,250  
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).
)
$23,771 - $54,143  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 164
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
$10.62 - $20.57  
   
Overtime
$16.79 - $37.28  
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 - $3,878  
   
Profit Sharing
$4,250  
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).
)
$23,771 - $54,143  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 352
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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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Law Clerks who advance into the role of a General Counsel are fairly uncommon. General Counsels on average earn $152K per year. Typical career progression for a Law Clerk involves becoming an Attorney or an Associate Attorney, roles that pay $47K more and $38K more on average.

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Popular Skills for Law Clerk


Survey results suggest that Law Clerks put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, facility with Legal Writing, Technical Writing, and Legal Research are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 37 percent, 6 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Filing Court Documents, Client Interaction, and Document Preparation. Most people familiar with Legal Document Review also know Technical Writing.

Pay by Experience Level for Law Clerk

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


For Law Clerks, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $32K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $40K. Law Clerks see a median salary of $42K after reaching one to two decades on the job. After two decades in the workforce, the average Law Clerk generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $46K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $33,471

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

For Law Clerks, working in the bustling city of Washington has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Law Clerks will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+39 percent), San Francisco (+25 percent), Newport Beach (+25 percent), and New York (+24 percent). Fort Lauderdale is the lowest-paying area, 13 percent south of the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Dallas (11 percent lower) and Tampa (7 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Law Clerk Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 39%



National Average
$33,000


Skills That Affect Law Clerk Salaries

Legal Writing
up arrow 37%


Legal Research
up arrow 4%

Legal Document Review
up arrow 1%

National Average
$33,000

Document Preparation
up arrow 5%

Client Interaction
up arrow 6%

Filing Court Documents
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 49 votes.

Gender

Female
49 %
Male
51 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
17%
1-4 years
63%
5-9 years
11%
10-19 years
7%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 42%
dental benefits
Dental: 30%
medical benefits
Vision: 23%
dental benefits
None: 55%
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