Law Clerk Careers

Imagine this. You grab a cup of coffee and head to the court. With enough coffee flowing through your veins, you're now ready to chat with the judge about legal questions, granting orders and even the construction of documents. Who are you? You're a law clerk and this is just the beginning of your day.

The rest of your day may be spent going through complaints, looking at petitions or motions, and even reading through pleadings so you can help develop a case. Then, you need to type up some judicial opinions, decisions, or citations. There's lots of work to do as a law clerk, so you need to be organized so you don't waste a single minute.

As a law clerk, you'll probably spend a lot of time with judges. You're there to provide assistance on legal determinations while also writing up research-based opinions that are relevant to the court. The best part of becoming a law clerk is that you don't have to wait very long to become one. You could be a student by day and a law clerk by night. Unless you have night classes, in which case it might be switched.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a law clerk. For example, did you know that they make an average of $25.77 an hour? That's $53,594 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 50,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Law Clerk Do

There are certain skills that many law clerks have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, computer skills and interpersonal skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a law clerk, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.6% of law clerks included discovery responses, while 10.0% of resumes included legal advice, and 8.3% of resumes included legal documents. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the law clerk job title. But what industry to start with? Most law clerks actually find jobs in the professional and non profits industries.

How To Become a Law Clerk

If you're interested in becoming a law clerk, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 15.9% of law clerks have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 5.5% of law clerks have master's degrees. Even though most law clerks have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a law clerk. When we researched the most common majors for a law clerk, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on law clerk resumes include master's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a law clerk. In fact, many law clerk jobs require experience in a role such as legal extern. Meanwhile, many law clerks also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or judicial internship.

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Average Salary
$53,594
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
29,556
Job Openings

Law Clerk Career Paths

Top Careers Before Law Clerk

Top Careers After Law Clerk

Attorney
18.3 %
Associate
10.5 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Law Clerk

Law Clerks in America make an average salary of $53,594 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $106,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$53,594

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range52k - 101k$73k$72,927
White Plains, NY
Salary Range51k - 101k$72k$72,293
Boston, MA
Salary Range47k - 94k$67k$67,019
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range44k - 93k$64k$64,492
Seattle, WA
Salary Range39k - 81k$57k$56,976
Chicago, IL
Salary Range38k - 70k$52k$51,901
$25k
$101k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Law Clerk 1
Law Clerk 1
State of Iowa
State of Iowa
03/29/2021
03/29/2021
$50,93903/29/2021
$50,939
United States Courts
Law Clerk (Term Appointment)
Law Clerk (Term Appointment)
United States Courts
United States Courts
03/27/2021
03/27/2021
$64,64903/27/2021
$64,649
Minnesota Judicial Branch
Minnesota Court of Appeals Law Clerk for The Term
Minnesota Court of Appeals Law Clerk for The Term
Minnesota Judicial Branch
Minnesota Judicial Branch
03/27/2021
03/27/2021
$64,58203/27/2021
$64,582
Law Clerk-Court of Appeals
Law Clerk-Court of Appeals
Wisconsin Government
Wisconsin Government
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$64,64903/25/2021
$64,649
United States Courts
Term Law Clerk
Term Law Clerk
United States Courts
United States Courts
03/25/2021
03/25/2021
$70,88303/25/2021
$70,883
See More Recent Salaries

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Law Clerk Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Law Clerk. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Law Clerk Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Law Clerk resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Law Clerk Demographics

Gender

male

49.5 %

female

45.7 %

unknown

4.8 %

Ethnicity

White

64.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.9 %

Black or African American

9.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.5 %

French

12.4 %

Mandarin

5.4 %
See More Demographics

Law Clerk Education

Majors

Law
33.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

60.1 %

Doctorate

27.2 %

Masters

5.2 %

Top Colleges for Law Clerks

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

6. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

8. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,391
Enrollment
8,568
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Law Clerk

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.6% of law clerks listed discovery responses on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and computer skills are important as well.

  • Discovery Responses, 10.6%
  • Legal Advice, 10.0%
  • Legal Documents, 8.3%
  • Legal Memos, 6.0%
  • Pre-Trial Motions, 4.6%
  • Other Skills, 60.5%
  • See All Law Clerk Skills

Best States For a Law Clerk

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a law clerk. The best states for people in this position are New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and California. Law clerks make the most in New York with an average salary of $71,994. Whereas in Massachusetts and Vermont, they would average $66,958 and $62,564, respectively. While law clerks would only make an average of $58,241 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Law Clerk Jobs:
315
Highest 10% Earn:
$133,000
Location Quotient:
1.55
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Law Clerk Jobs:
1,911
Highest 10% Earn:
$134,000
Location Quotient:
1.23
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Law Clerk Jobs:
651
Highest 10% Earn:
$112,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Law Clerk Employers

1. Los Angeles County
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$51,805
Law Clerks Hired: 
284+
2. Skadden
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$187,953
Law Clerks Hired: 
172+
3. Public Defender Services
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$144,135
Law Clerks Hired: 
149+
4. Sullivan & Cromwell
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$179,582
Law Clerks Hired: 
137+
5. DLA Piper
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$181,007
Law Clerks Hired: 
133+
6. United States Environmental Protection ...
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$48,330
Law Clerks Hired: 
130+

Law Clerk Videos

Updated October 2, 2020