What Does a Legal Clerk Do?
Legal clerks provide administrative support to lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals. Law clerks and judicial clerks, depending on the context in which they work, are also known as law clerks. An attorney’s legal clerk typically assists with a variety of tasks related to legal cases, including conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, and organizing and maintaining documents. Additionally, they may help schedule appointments, prepare for court hearings, and communicate with clients.
A legal clerk may work directly for a judge or other judicial officer, providing support during court proceedings and drafting opinions and orders. Law firms and government agencies also employ legal clerks to assist lawyers and other legal professionals.
Are you a job seeker?
of job openings
and apply online
National Average Salary
Legal clerk salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Legal Clerk is:
Legal Clerk Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great legal clerk is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
Legal clerks handle all the administrative duties for lawyers and judges, including preparing legal documentation and trials, conducting research, offering customer service, and greeting clients. Legal clerks must have a working knowledge of legal proceedings. To perform this function, legal clerks need to be highly organized, have excellent communication skills, and be proficient with computers. [Your Company Name] is hiring an experienced legal clerk to take our business to new heights. As an ideal candidate, you have proven experience performing legal research and providing legal reports to support lawyers and judges.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Prepare legal drafts
- Assemble and organize information for legal forms and documents
- Research and study laws, regulations, and court decisions
- Prepare legal memoranda
- Collect and organize case materials such as reports and evidence
- Prepare trial briefs, exhibits, and motions
- Maintain calendar of court dates and hearings
- Administrative tasks including answering phones, managing office supplies, filing, and greeting guests
Education and experience
A high school diploma or GED is required for this position. However, employers prefer that candidates have an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in pre-law, administration, or a related field.
Required skills and qualifications
- Expertise in written and verbal communication
- Proficient computer skills, including Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
- Excellent organization and scheduling skills
- Ability to perform a wide range of clerical duties including maintaining files
- Discretion and an ability to handle confidential information
- Time management skills and ability to prioritize
- Legal research skills
- Requires excellent written and oral communication skills and thorough knowledge of legal research tools such as LEXIS and Westlaw
- Hands-on familiarity with a variety of computer applications, including word processing, databases (such as document review and file management systems), spreadsheets, and imaging
- Hands-on familiarity with ESI tools and knowledge of e-discovery procedures and resources
Technology is at the core of our business – we don’t just sell technology, we use it. The power of digital interviewing allows you the flexibility of using your computer or mobile device to record your interview on your own schedule in the comfort of your home. Our recruiting process allows you to tell your story in a stress-free way that is interactive and fun, so if you receive a link to Share your Story with us, we hope you have an awesome digital experience.
Get inspired by the work you’ll do
- Support attorneys and paralegals in the legal department
- Enter agreements into the electronic signature platform for execution and follow up on a weekly basis to make sure the agreements are signed and a fully executed copy is received.
- Enter all agreements into the contract management system
- Scan or read incoming materials in order to determine how and where they should be classified or filed
- Work with attorneys and paralegals to update and maintain forms and form files
- Enter the document identification codes into the automated/computer system in order to determine the location of the documents to be retrieved
- Gather materials to be filed from departments and employees
- Perform periodic inspections of materials or files in order to ensure correct placement, legibility, and proper condition
- Eliminate outdated or unnecessary materials, destroying them or transferring them to inactive storage according to file maintenance guidelines and/or legal requirements
- Find and retrieve information from files in response to requests from authorized users
- Perform general office duties such as typing, operating office machines, sorting mail, etc.
Your passion is sparked by
- High School Diploma, some colleges preferred but not required
- Established experience working quickly, accurately, and independently with minimal supervision
- Solid background in maintaining a high level of professionalism and confidentiality with the ability to work as business demands require
- Demonstrated proficiency with MS Office applications, especially Outlook, Word, and Excel
- Proven verbal and written communication skills with the ability to use good judgment and common sense when interacting with outside/inside contacts
We are looking for a legal clerk to handle case follow-up for civil litigation. Your goal will be to perform the job with little to no errors, learn quickly, and handle a large volume of legal documents in an appropriate amount of time. Our legal clerks handle the filing, document processing, and data entry of civil lawsuits related to debt collection. Although we are a debt collection firm, our collections handle all correspondence with debtors. We handle all filing and processing with the courts and communication with opposing counsels. This is a great position for someone looking to enter the legal field. We provide extensive on-the-job training and work directly with new hires as they learn legal processes.
- Identify legal documents by title and contents
- Enter legal data into our software system, Q-Law
- Communicate with courts to follow up with cases
- Regularly work lists of files to keep up to date
- Work directly with a team of attorneys and clerks to keep files moving through the litigation process
- Request and process documents with the court systems of the state of Florida. This includes scanning, copying, and mailing documents, as well as following up with the court regarding filings
- Background drug, credit, and fingerprint tests done prior to hiring
- Well-organized, with sharp attention to detail
- Ability to work under pressure
- Good communication and literacy skills
- A desire to learn more about civil litigation
- Ability to learn quickly and ask the appropriate questions to learn the job to the best of your ability
- Office experience preferred, but not required
The Legal Clerk I is responsible for processing a variety of legal requests related to customer accounts that are received by the Bank such as levies, liens, garnishments, subpoenas, court orders, legal research requests, social security account verification, the establishment of fiduciary accounts and power of attorneys, bankruptcies, and releasing of deceased account holder funds to an estate or beneficiary.
- Assists with department administrative duties such as opening, sorting, scanning, and distributing incoming electronic and postal mail, as well as creates cases for received requests to be tracked and managed electronically
- Answers routine inquiries over the phone from a variety of internal and external parties including customers, branches, agencies, and attorneys
- Review legal documentation provided and references any relevant laws and regulations to ensure requests and orders are processed in accordance with Bank and legal requirements
- Conducts any necessary research and processes account holds and releases, payments, invoices, and processing fees as appropriate; notifies customers by mail of actions taken and files responses, records, and payments with courts, agencies, and attorneys
- Ensure items are being processed and sent in to meet court dates and state regulations; documents case progress and keep scanned records of payments and request responses
Minimum qualifications and experience
- 1-2 years of legal documentation processing or banking experience; or a combination of directly related education and experience
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Certified Legal Professional (CLP). The CLP is designed for lawyer’s assistants who want to advance their skills and knowledge and gain an advantage in their careers. The exam consists of four parts that demonstrate a candidate’s dedication to professionalism and test their knowledge of legal office skills, the ability to interact on a professional level with attorneys, clients, and other support staff, and a working knowledge of procedural law, the law library, and how to prepare legal documents.
- Certified Paralegal (CP). The CP, offered by the National Association of Legal Assistants, recognizes a candidate’s knowledge in the legal field, analytical skills, writing abilities, and reading comprehension. The exam has 5 sections. To qualify for the exam, they will need a high school diploma plus 7 years of experience, a bachelor’s degree in any field plus 1 year of experience, or a bachelor’s degree from a bar association-approved paralegal program. The certification must be renewed every 5 years.
How to Hire a Legal Clerk
Consider the following when hiring a legal clerk:
- Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
- Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
- Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. When hiring a legal clerk, we recommend the following options:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder for legal clerk openings:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
3. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- What are the qualities of a good legal clerk?
- How would you describe your writing style?
- What have you done to improve your legal knowledge in the last year?
- Which areas of law are you most interested in?
- Do you have experience with billing?
- Are you familiar with case management software? Which ones?
- Are you proficient in drafting depositions, summonses, and subpoenas?
- How would you prepare a case file?
- How do you ensure the accuracy of your work?
- Can you give an example of when you improved efficiency in the office?
- What is your experience dealing with confidential information? How do you protect it?
- How would you deal with a demanding client?
- How do you prioritize your workload when you have multiple tasks and deadlines to manage?
- How do you maintain confidentiality on legal cases you assist with?