If you want to become a Law Clerk this article “How to become a Law Clerk” provide you the necessary details that you need to know to get into this field.
What is meant by a law clerk?
To understand the term law clerk, let’s split these two terms ‘Law’ & ‘Clerk’ and know each word individually.
Let’s first perceive the word ‘Clerk’
Clerk: Someone who works in an office and dealing with the records, documents, and performing others administrative responsibilities of the upholding office.
Law: A set of rules (rules and regulation) defined by the government. Each country has their own law of the land.
‘Law’ + ‘Clerk’ = A person deals with the constitutional record, documents and other activities by following some rules and regulations.
Law clerk also knew to be a judicial clerk, or sometimes people called court clerk, so don’t be confused with these words, they all meant same to some extent. Scroll down below to know the difference between the law clerk and judicial clerk.
Education required to become a Law Clerk
As the name implies itself ‘law’ that means you should have the education of law. To get the knowledge you have to go for LLB (Bachelor of laws) program. A person who has a degree in LLB known to be a Lawyer. So the Law clerks, in fact, they are well-skilled lawyers.
There are two separate and vis-à-vis academics program to become a lawyer, 3 years and 5 years LLB degree courses. Know the complete lawyer career path and procedure to become a lawyer.
So from there, you can decide which one of the career path you should go for, to become a lawyer.
Nowadays every career path changing dynamically in this new and fast world so the law is not the exception. In the law career path, there are a wide variety of career options you can go after completing your law degree.
Because of increasing demand for law graduates (lawyer) in many different fields, various universities decide to launch a separate program for each sector.
You have multiple of integrated LLB courses option available today. However, the vast majority of law aspirants choose BA LLB integrated program to become a court clerk.
But you can select other integrated programs based on your area of interest rather than selecting BA LLB. Select the program what you want to be in your life, for example;
If you have an interest in the corporate industry or business (Account, Economics) you can select either B.Com LLB or BBA LLB integrated program. So if you want a job in the corporate sector as a law clerk then these two integrated programs are the best program to opt while taking admission in the law school.
What are the Skills Set needed to become a Law Clerk?
In this career path along with the degree of law, skills play a vital role in the success of every law clerk. These are the following major skills set a law clerkship candidate should have along with the knowledge of laws and Constitution of India…
- Active Listener and Learner
- Writing with attention to details
- Time management
- Familiar with all court procedures and practices
- Typing speed must be good (approximately 40 to 60 wpm)
- Data analysis /Case analysis
- Word processing skills (know how to use words effectively to give more impact and be clear)
- Computer Skills: Microsoft Office/ Open Office, Operating System
- Web Applications: Manupatra, LexisNexis, SSC Online, Westlaw etc.
Where can a Law Clerk work? (Work Places)
- Municipal offices
- IT industry
- Corporate sector
- Multinational Companies (MNC)
- Law firms
- Advocate offices
How to become a Law Clerk (Judicial Clerk) [Step-by-Step]
[Step 1] to become a Law Clerk High School
You must have been passed your intermediate high school (10+2) in any of the site (Art/Commerce/ Science) in order to become a law clerk.
Generally, you have to secure minimum 45% percentage in the high school to get admission in India’s finest law colleges.
[Step 2] to become a Law Clerk Entrance Test
Prepare for the entrance examination to get the admission in India’s finest law school. There are various entrance exams conducted across India by each and every state universities. CLAT and AILET are the most popular entrance exam among the law aspirants.
[Step 3] to become a Law Clerk LLB (Bachelor of laws)
Take the admission in one of the LLB courses (LLB/ Integrated LLB) at the time of counselling.
Many private colleges imparting LLB courses, and most of the college’s intake students for their law programs without conducting any entrance exams. They just shortlist candidates on their senior secondary high school (10+2) percentage/division and first come first serve basis.
Thus you can also go for these colleges to achieve your career path of becoming a judicial clerk. But the thing you have to make sure before enrolling yourself in these types of law colleges.
Investigate about the college where you want to take admission, so ask them directly or check yourself; is this college affiliated to BAR council of India? If ‘No’ then say goodbye to this college and find the college who has BAR council of India affiliation.
[Step 4] to become a Law Clerk Internship/ legal trainee
While pursuing your LLB degree, you can go for an internship program during holidays which you got after the academic semester exams.
However, this is not a mandatory step you should take. But this will make easy to achieve the goal of becoming a law clerk. In the interviews, you would definitely get an additional benefit of the few weeks internship programs.
[Step 5] to become a Law Clerk Attend interviews
Build your resume (Points you should consider while creating your resume) and upload it to the job portals (Secrets of job portals) then wait for the interview calls.
After getting completed law education you have two options to build your career as a law clerk. [First] is you can go for the private sector and also work in advocate offices, for this you have to prepare your resume and upload it to job website.
At this step (after getting a job) you are a law clerk who works with the private organisations.
[Second] option you have is as to become a judicial clerk (court clerkship) and work with court judges, for this option you have to pass two more steps.
[Step 6] to become a Judicial Clerk Law clerk Exam
Every year Supreme Court of India organises an exam to fill the vacant position of court clerk/ judicial. The exam called to be as Law Clerk-cum-Research Assistant.
High Court of different states also conduct several exams for a judicial clerkship, so you can also participate in these exams.
To appear in these exams there are certain criteria’s which you have to fulfil before filling the form of Law Clerk-cum-Research Assistant.
Law Clerk/ Judicial Clerk / Court Clerk Eligibility Criteria
 He should be a citizen of India and should not be below the age of 18 years and above 30 years
 A candidate must be a law graduate as on the date of appearing at interview.
 A candidate who is studying in the fifth year (last year) of the five-year integrated law course also be eligible to apply for Law Clerk-cum-Research Assistant
[Step 7] to become a Judicial Clerk Interview
After clearing the exam you have to face an interview to get the name in the final shortlisted candidate’s list. The judges of the honourable court would take personal interviews, to know the person individually. Because at the end of the day final shortlisted candidates have to work for them and follow the guidelines what the judges command.
Thus personal interview is the last step to jump over to become a judicial clerk/ court clerk.
Based on the interview a candidate appointed to the respective judges of the court.
[Fact] A law clerk can learn more things (legal issues) in a year than a lawyer of the court. So if a court clerk decides to go for advocacy after getting a certain amount of clerkship experience. It would be good to go career pathway and have a potential to become a well-known lawyer.
Therefore after getting some experience in clerkship, you can also become a lawyer in the any Indian Court except Supreme Court of India. Know the complete procedure of becoming a court lawyer (Advocate).
If you want to get information about being a Supreme Court lawyer Click Here
What are the job duties of a Law Clerk? (Job Description)
As you understand from the above section of this article about the places wherein a law clerk needed. Thus job responsibilities can vary from one workplace to another workplace.
However some of the common job duties you would be responsible for, it does not matter which of the place you choose to start your career as a law clerk.
- Prepare and write legal documents, while writing they make sure the using words are the right word according to the case that conveys the same message in front of others as it is and creates a strong persona of the client.
- Do legal researchers and helps your colleague to prepare strong documents.
- Keep the record legal documentation and maintain it in the hard files also in electronic devices such as a computer, external hard drive, etc.
- Investigate legal documents and after analysing the file report to the responsible person.
- Answering and making phone calls to the clients on behalf of the advocate or the office where you are working.
- Prepare meeting agendas and set reminder date (deadline) to update & maintain the old files and meeting reminder which you set in a present or past day.
- Filing the prepared case file to the court and take dates for the case hearing.
- Sometimes filling the documents and managing some other small administrative task such as managing office supplies, arrange the books in order (bookkeeping), collect the payments, etc.
Job responsibilities of a Judicial Clerk/ Court Clerk
For the law clerk to get into the judiciary system and work along with justice of that respective court in order to help with the documentation part; is the highest and prestigious & most valued job opportunities for a law clerk.
Therefore it becomes important to know about the job duties of a Court Clerk; the job responsibilities are…
A court clerk/ judicial clerk is responsible for the various administrative task in the court. Workload depends upon the court where they are working, as a law clerk you can be part of subordinate courts (District Court: Criminal + Civil), State High Court, and Supreme Court of India.
- In the movies and television shows you might have seen a person with a book who is taking oaths from witnesses is as to telling truth only, that person is none other than a judicial clerk.
- Maintain court records of the current running cases as well as future hearing and even they keep records of the past cases.
- Strictly and carefully follow the instructions of justice.
- In the courtroom note down the important points during the case hearing and proceeding.
- Check the authenticity and reliability of the evidence and other submitted documents related to the case by both parties, the defendant as well as accused.
- Proofreading orders and opinions of the judges and suggest the solution in a polite manner.
- Inform parties regarding date and time of appearance in the courtroom.
- A judicial clerk plays an important role in the judiciary. Why? Imagine documents with lots of error it’s quite frightening because a wrong report can able to change the final verdict of the judge. And that can create lots of problem for an innocent person.
- That’s why this job is kind of jobs that come in the list of the highly responsible job. Therefore you have to do your work with more attention.
Related: How to become a Court Judge [Complete judiciary path Guide]
Difference between Law Clerk and Judicial Clerk/ Court Clerk
There is no such major difference in law clerk and judicial clerk. Both are the law graduates and possess almost the same skills.
The only thing makes these two-term different is the workplaces where they work.
If a law graduates want to do Clerkship in any organisation (excluding judiciary) then he is called to be as law Clerk.
And if a graduate who has the same education as a law clerk and wants to work in judiciary called to be as Judicial Clerk or Court Clerk.
All the Judicial Clerk is a law clerk but not all the law clerk can become a judicial clerk.
Law Clerk / Judicial Clerk Scope
Accomplishment is a tough task to get without taking any assistant especially for someone who has lots of responsibility on his shoulder like a company manager can’t achieve the set target without taking the assistance of others employee, so as the judges.
Being a judge is not a piece of cake, as we know India’s having a huge number of pending cases. And if they don’t have an assistant then it will get worse.
Therefore, every judge requires an assistant to work fast, so they need someone who bears good knowledge and skills set to help the judges in reducing the documentation and research load. And here comes the role of a court clerk/ judicial clerk who assist the judge in legal procedure.
Apart from assisting court judges, there are many other workplaces you can go with as I mentioned above in this article of “How to become a Law Clerk”.