In the legal arena, a law clerk is as much of an essential as the lawyer handling a case. It is the accountability of a law clerk to research, write legal arguments and bench rulings and summarize the information for lawyers or judges.
While on the other hand, law clerks cannot officially appear in court for the reason that they may not have taken the bar exam yet; on the whole, they perform many of the equivalent functions as lawyers. In addition to their tasks, they may also make sworn statements from witnesses and deliver subpoenas.
Wanna become a Law Clerk?
Thinking you might incline to become a law clerk? Read on and find out if you have what it takes and maybe learn a few insights on becoming one.
Ample and proper training. In every state, there are training recommended and offered to become a law clerk. Grab these opportunities! Also, it is expected that you get a bachelor’s degree (in any field), complete at least the second year of law school, apply and get the job as a law clerk who might get any of the three types of appointments.
- “Temporary” (this includes an internship, usually for law students),
- “Term” (reserved for law school graduates or current students, generally for two years or less) or
- “Career” (intended for law school graduates who are looking into four or more years to clerk).
Take those electives, too. There are several electives and specializations offered in college, which at first glance you might discard as something unnecessary. But do take a second look and connect its necessity to being a law clerk.
Examples of these electives and specialization which might propel you law clerk career are computers and electronics, law and government, English language, customer and personal service, clerical and public security, and safety.
Skills are in. Communication is an essential part of being a law clerk. Without effective communication, even the most accurate processing of complex law-related materials will just be wasted when thoughts cannot be expressed clearly in conversation, may it be in writing or talking.
Also, listening is an art and a skill – just as essential when asking questions or obtaining subpoenas. The ability of reasoning and problem solving will aid one to analyze ideas for analysis of their weaknesses and strengths logically.
A good listener will always be open to the idea of a constant flow of new information and, in the process, identify problems and compose solutions while using excellent reasoning to complete tasks on time without so much distraction.
Excellent people skills are a must if one wants to be a good law clerk. There is a need to tune in to different reactions from persons, and there may be times wherein persuasion skills need to be exercised to convey points. Other times, a law clerk will be called to mediate and facilitate to encourage fruitful discussions and solve differences between erring parties.
On the whole, a law clerk will always be called to situations that require a quick but reasonable response that is aligned in law and order. If you have what it takes and you’ll see yourself for the long haul in this profession, better get started on sowing the seeds of a law clerk career.
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