Law Clerk

Career Area: Law, Compliance, and Public Safety

Occupation Group: Legal Professionals

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Law Clerk earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $54,030

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $46,872

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Assists judges with research and other legal and administrative work, particularly for cases to be decided in court. Organizes legal files, researches laws and prior decisions, reviews briefs submitted by attorneys. May draft and file legal documents or assist litigation attorneys. Works in a short term position typically held by law students or recent law school graduates

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina31%
Nationwide3231+5.7%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Law Clerk is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Organizational Skills: Experience with a systematic process of structuring, integrating, co-ordinating task goals, and activities to resources in order to attain objectives.
  • Detail-Oriented: A detail oriented person is someone who pays attention to the details and can make a conscious effort to understand causes instead of just the effects, and that does this in a second nature type of way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Legal Research: Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving information necessary to support legal decision-making.
  • Litigation: Working experience of Litigation. Litigation is the term used to describe proceedings initiated between two opposing parties to enforce or defend a legal right. Litigation is typically settled by agreement between the parties, but may also be heard and decided by a jury or judge in court.
  • Legal Documentation: Working experience of Legal Documentation. Documentation is material that provides official information or evidence or that serves as a record.
  • Memoranda Preparation: Memorandum of conversation (abbrev.: MEMCON) and also memorandum of a conversation and memo to the file refers to a method of contemporaneous documentation of a conversation in the form of a memorandum used by the United States federal government.
  • Legal Document Composition: Legal writing is a type of technical writing used by lawyers, judges, legislators, and others in law to express legal analysis and legal rights and duties. Legal writing in practice is used to advocate for or to express the resolution of a client's legal matter.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Law Clerk that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Document Review: Document review (also known as doc review), in the context of legal proceedings, is the process whereby each party to a case sorts through and analyzes the documents and data they possess (and later the documents and data supplied by their opponents through discovery) to determine which are sensitive or otherwise relevant to the case.
  • Legal Writing: Working experience with technical writing used by lawyers, judges, legislators, and others in law to express legal analysis and legal rights and duties.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Environmental Law: Environmental law, also known as environmental and natural resources law, is a collective term describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, common and customary laws addressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment.
  • Legal Analysis: The term legal analysis is one that can be applied broadly across the entire legal spectrum, but it is basis is found in the concrete understanding that the application and use of law is based almost entirely on interpretation.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years73%
3 to 5 years25%
6 to 8 years1%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Law Clerk
  • Legal Clerk
  • Law Clerk I
  • Summer Law Clerk
  • Term Law Clerk

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