Legal Clerk

Job Description

Legal Clerks play a crucial role in helping attorneys prepare for trials. They put together and organize information for use in legal documents, research legal precedents for cases, draft legal memos, gather case materials, and write reports. Many times, a Legal Clerk also performs administrative office tasks such as answering phones, signing for packages, greeting guests, monitoring mail, managing office supplies, and making photocopies. A Legal Clerk should be organized, have solid research skills, and be comfortable handling confidential client information.

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 Background

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.

Skills and Competencies

  • 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

Compensation

According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Law Clerk with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $32,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $35,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $32,000
  • Miami, Florida: $39,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $43,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $38,000
  • Houston, Texas: $38,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $42,000
  • New York City, New York: $38,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $38,000
  • Overall: $36,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $38,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $40,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $39,000
  • Miami, Florida: $44,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $49,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $45,000
  • Houston, Texas: $44,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $51,000
  • New York City, New York: $50,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $48,000
  • Overall: $44,000

Similar Job Titles

  • Legal Secretary
  • Administrative Legal Assistant
  • Practice Coordinator
  • Client Service Contact

Career Path

A high school diploma or GED is required to be a Legal Clerk. However, employers prefer that candidates have an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in pre-law, administration, or a related field.

A Legal Clerk works very closely with attorneys and often reports to a Senior Legal Assistant.

Position Trends

According to the career website The Balance Careers, one trend Legal Clerks should be aware of is the outsourcing of a lot of the legal process. Many firms are transferring the work of Paralegals, Legal Assistants, and support professionals like Legal Clerks outside of their firms. Instead, these services are being handled by outside vendors both in and out of the U.S.

Another trend in the legal field that affects Legal Clerks is the increasing demand for a better work-life balance. In the past, law firms have pushed staff members to work long hours to accomplish tasks and meet deadlines. Now, firms are giving employees more benefits like flex-time, part-time work, and allowing telecommuting.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for Paralegals and Legal Assistants is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than average.

Typical Hours

The typical work hours in an office setting for a Legal Clerk are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, many Legal Clerks can work more than 40 hours a week or on weekends, especially when nearing deadlines.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster 
  • Law Jobs
  • Law Crossing

Are You Interested in Becoming a Legal Clerk?

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