Law & Document Clerks

Law & Document Clerks

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Law & Document Clerks

Law and Document Clerks in many respects can be used to describe two very different classes of legal professional.  A law clerk is a position where an individual performs a number of administrative duties for a judge or judiciary, which heavy reliance on substantive work, such as legal research, analysis, and drafting of legal decisions. 

In almost all circumstances, becoming a law clerk involves having graduated from law school with a legal degree, usually with a specified academic focus on judicial review, and in some cases, having performing near or at the top of their class.  As a general rule, the process is more selective among the higher courts, such as at the federal state and appellate court, and are less selective in the lower courts (though, comparative to other legal positions, they are still highly selective). 

The firsthand observation of the intricacies of the court are an undeniably beneficial position, as well as the high volume of legal professionals that interact with a judge gives a promising law clerk a potentially extensive quantity of connections throughout the legal community.  

 While some individuals become law clerks as a career, the positions are typically under a limited duration, commonly a year, and serve mainly as a valuable stepping stone for the law clerk on the path between law school and achieving a successful career in law.

Document clerks generally perform more common paralegal practices, usually limited to clerical and administrative work that centers almost exclusively on the filing of legal documentation.  Sometimes it is required of a document clerk to have passed a local or federal civil service exam (though usually not for positions in the private sector).    

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