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What is a Law Clerk

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 $24.28 an hour? That's $50,511 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.

Learn more about what a Law Clerk does

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 63.0% 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 Bachelor's Degree degrees or Doctoral 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.

What is the right job for my career path?

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

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. White & Case Jobs (93)
  2. Ropes & Gray Jobs (84)
  3. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Jobs (100)
  4. DLA Piper Jobs (137)
  5. Bay Area Legal Aid Jobs (55)
Average Salary
$50,511
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
75,968
Job Openings
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Law Clerk Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Law Clerk

Law Clerks in America make an average salary of $50,511 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $93,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$50,511
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How much should you be earning as an Law Clerk? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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12 Law Clerk Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Law Clerk Resume

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

View Law Clerk Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. White & Case Jobs (93)
  2. Ropes & Gray Jobs (84)
  3. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton Jobs (100)
  4. DLA Piper Jobs (137)
  5. Bay Area Legal Aid Jobs (55)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Law Clerk Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Law Clerk templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Law Clerk resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Law Clerk Resume
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Law Clerk Demographics

Law Clerk Gender Distribution

Male
Male
53%
Female
Female
48%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Law Clerks, 47.5% of them are women, while 52.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Law Clerks is White, which makes up 63.1% of all Law Clerks.

  • The most common foreign language among Law Clerks is Spanish at 46.5%.

Job Openings

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Law Clerk Education

Law Clerk Majors

33.3 %

Law Clerk Degrees

Bachelors

63.0 %

Doctorate

28.6 %

Masters

5.5 %

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 • Private

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
Job Openings

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About this Course This four-week course titled AI and Law explores the way in which the increasing use of artificially intelligent technologies (AI) affects the practice and administration of law defined in a broad sense. Subject matters discussed include the connection be between AI and Law in the context of legal responsibility, law-making, law-enforcing, criminal law, the medical sector and intellectual property law. The course aims to equip members of the general public with an elementary ab...

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This course teaches Japanese law. It covers the legal system and basic concepts. The course starts with the study of concepts that are common to many countries, such as sovereignty, constitution, separation of three rights, basic human rights and personal security. Furthermore, it covers current issues in Japan, for example, those faced in daily life from a legal perspective based upon laws and related practices. By studying Japanese law, you learn about the relationship between law and...

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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%

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, California, and Vermont. Law Clerks make the most in New York with an average salary of $76,993. Whereas in Massachusetts and California, they would average $67,126 and $62,590, respectively. While Law Clerks would only make an average of $61,181 in Vermont, 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:
$146,000
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:
$137,000
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. California

Total Law Clerk Jobs:
5,166
Highest 10% Earn:
$102,000
Location Quotient:
1.46
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
Full List Of Best States For Law Clerks

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Top Law Clerk Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Law Clerks and discovered their number of Law Clerk opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that United States Courts was the best, especially with an average salary of $55,699. Superior Court of New Jersey follows up with an average salary of $55,590, and then comes Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom with an average of $203,466. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a Law Clerk. The employers include Leidos, CACI International, and Cincinnati Financial

Most Common Employers For Law Clerk

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Law Clerk SalaryAverage Salary
1$205,441
2
2.Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
$203,466
3$202,317
4
4.Sullivan & Cromwell
$196,779
5$193,621
6
6.Debevoise & Plimpton
$191,718

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Becoming a Law Clerk FAQs

How long does it take to become a Law Clerk?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a law clerk. That is the time it takes to learn specific law clerk skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 6 to 8 years years to become a law clerk.

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