Becoming a Law Clerk: Step-By-Step Guide

By Brenda on February 29th, 2012


So you have graduated high school with no interest in anything but the legal field, yet your grades are not going to get you into law school, now what?  Try a career as a law clerk and work your way up the legal ladder.

Law clerks are legal assistants that work alongside attorneys and judges as researchers and legal document preparers.  They learn how to do the job of an attorney or judge without seeing clients.  While they may do the job of the attorney, they don’t see the paycheck of one.  However, the career as a law clerk can be rewarding and lead to great opportunities.

The first step in becoming a law clerk is to graduate high school and prepare for an online degree or entry into a community college.  A wide number of law clerks receive a paralegal or law clerk certification, while others simply go to work and earn experience.  During high school the student should focus on English, communications, speech and writing, as these skills will come in handy once you land your first job.

The next step in becoming a law clerk is to either get an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution or land a job.  Some attorneys hire high school grads or those in college to conduct research and prepare court documents as an assistant.  This provides hands-on experience that is essential in the legal field.

While attending a community college or online program, many students desire to go further with their interest in the legal field.  They often learn about the opportunities available in the legal field and desire to earn a formal degree.

There are a large number of online programs that offer certifications or two year degrees in the legal field.  There are even bachelor degree programs in the legal arena that offer a four year degree and credibility among employers.  Attorneys look favorably at graduates of online programs with credentials in the legal field.  These credentials often help place you above the competition and prepare you for advancement at a much higher rate than those who do not obtain credentialing or certification.

A small fraction of law clerks become so interested in the field that they desire to go to law school to become an attorney.  Students who wish to go to law school must study and pass the LSAT or Law School Admission Test.

The career outlook for law clerks and legal assistants is highly favorable, especially in high risk and high crime areas.  The crime rates in larger metropolitan areas are increasing, putting demands on attorneys and judges in need of assistance.  Law clerks can always find a job, especially with one to two years of experience under their belt.

Finding the niche of law that best suits you often takes time and effort.  You may start out working in family law only to find that you are better suited for corporate law.  The experience is versatile and moving around in the various fields is par for the course.

Category: Careers and Employment,Law and Social Sciences